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EU and Uganda Ink €218 Million Agreements for Economic Boost


EU and Uganda Ink €218 Million Agreements for Economic Boost

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President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda has taken a significant step towards bolstering the country’s economic growth by signing eight financial agreements with the European Union (EU), amounting to approximately €218 million, equivalent to about shillings 932 billion. This move was made during the ongoing third Uganda-EU Business Forum at Speke Resort Munyonyo, Kampala, on March 6, 2204.

The financial initiatives aim at various objectives, including reducing human rights abuses impacting women in business activities, enhancing value addition and agro-processing, and providing affordable medium-term financing to agribusiness SMEs in Uganda. President Museveni emphasized the importance of collaboration during the signing ceremony, emphasizing the need to attract investment and increase trade in Uganda.

The forum, which convened over 3,700 participants physically and online, aimed to foster collaboration between Ugandan and European businesses and government representatives. State Minister of Finance for Investment and Privatization, Evelyn Anite, highlighted the significant participation of over 100 companies in the event, all geared towards enhancing Uganda’s economic landscape.

The financial initiatives include projects such as the ‘Green and Decent Jobs for Youth’ program, aiming to improve employability among vulnerable youth, especially women, by providing access to green and decent employment opportunities. Another initiative, the ‘Advancing Respect for Business and Human Rights (ARBHR) in Uganda,’ seeks to mitigate human rights abuses in business activities, particularly those impacting women.

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The ‘Agricultural Revitalization & Transformation (START) Facility’ targets boosting value addition and agro-processing by providing affordable financing to agribusiness SMEs, with a focus on environmentally sustainable practices. Additionally, the ‘Women Entrepreneur for Africa’ program under the ‘Investing in Young Businesses in Africa’ initiative aims to support early-stage businesses and young entrepreneurs in Africa, fostering inclusive and sustainable growth.

Moreover, loans provided to entities such as Centenary Rural Development Bank Uganda and Housing Finance Bank aim to enhance access to finance for micro-entrepreneurs, with a particular focus on female borrowers and those in rural areas. The initiatives also extend to infrastructure development, such as the construction of mobile towers in rural areas to improve network coverage.

President Museveni, addressing EU ambassadors and investors, stressed the importance of dialogue in fostering economic growth, urging political actors to prioritize opportunities for the country. He emphasized the need to address unfair labor divisions and non-tariff barriers hindering business, urging governments to avoid attempts at political control in global affairs.

In his address, President Museveni highlighted the significance of considering entrepreneurship, capital, and natural resources alongside labor in wealth creation, advocating for a holistic approach to economic development. He called upon the business community to advocate for policies that support inclusive growth and mitigate barriers to business expansion.

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