Conze said the kingdom had big chunks of crown land, which could be turned into major agricultural investments in partnership with investors from Germany.
PIC: The Katikiro of Buganda, Charles Peter Mayiga with the German ambassador in Uganda, Dr. Albrecht Conze outside Bulange, Mengo on July 25,2018. (Credit: Eddie Ssejjoba)
The Germany ambassador in Uganda, Dr. Albrecht Conze, has said a lot of investors in Germany were interested in investing in agriculture and afforestation using Buganda kingdom land.
He said the kingdom had big chunks of crown land, which could be turned into major agricultural investments in partnership with investors from Germany.
He said this would create value assets for the rural people.
“I realised that there were large chunks of land, which is crown land and belongs to the kingdom, this can be major agriculture investments,” he explained.
Conze was on Wednesday addressing the press after a meeting with the Katikiro (Prime Minister) of Buganda, Charles Peter Mayiga at the kingdom headquarters in Bulange, Mengo.
The meeting came two months after visiting the Kabaka, Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II where he expressed interest in partnering with the kingdom to set up investment projects especially in the rural areas.
He said Germany had been a partner with Uganda since Independence and had since steadily supported the country in the water and renewable energy in rural areas.
“I have been trying to find investors in Germany, the concept today is partnership in business in order to create value for assets for the ordinary people. We hope this will bear fruits,” he told journalists.
He said many German investors were interested in injecting funds into the agriculture and animal husbandry.
“Investing in agriculture and animal husbandry was the center of our discussion when I met with the Kabaka, I’m trying to find investors who could be interested,” he explained.
Conze however regretted that Uganda’s transport costs were too high for the investors but expressed optimism that with the coming on board of Bukasa port, the problem would be solved.
“Transport costs must become cheap, it has been an uphill battle to interest investors in Germany, but I hope to take him (Katikiro) to Germany to enable him meet the investors,” he explained.
Conze believes that rural development must take into account the needs of the people who work on that land and pledged that he would sensitize the Germany investors to avoid scenarios of wanting to displace people for the sake of investment.
“I think people should not just be displaced like that, they need to be given alternatives. I can promise you that this kind of sensitivity will be a priority with our investors,” he said, adding that social components should be of concern to foreign investors, other than stopping at making profits.
He applauded the government of Uganda for working closely with the cultural structures, which he said might not be found elsewhere in Africa.
Mayiga said that the ambassador was interested in finding out whether the kingdom would be in position to accord arable to investors.
“Uganda has a very good climate for agriculture and most consumers in the West are interested in organic crops, yet Uganda uses a little amount of fertilizers,” he told the journalists.
The investments, he added, would also provide incomes for the ordinary people and transform their lives.
Mayiga said after hosting the ambassador, the Kabaka directed them to ‘further the discussions in view of agriculture and other ordinary things’.
He said they would focus their partnership on agriculture, afforestation, animal husbandry and tourism.
“We hope that the ambassador’s visit to the palace would be the beginning of a long relationship with the people of Buganda and Germany.
The Katikiro later led the ambassador to tour some of the cultural attractions at Bulange, including the Kabaka’s monument, where he met a group of visiting American tourists who were delighted when they were invited for a group picture with the ambassador.
The tourists included Teri, Abigail, Laci, Liesi, Kameryn, Ainsley and Kristin from Texas.
Additional reporting by Subaiha Nakandi