Investment promotion and facilitation and new investments in Uganda
Mr. Tom Buringuriza successfully defended his DBA thesis titled: Investment promotion and facilitation and new investments in Uganda, at MSM on 22 October 2018. “The MSM DBA has opened a new career path for me in which I work more on facilitating investment processes,” said Mr. Buringuriza after his DBA defense.
His research focuses on the effectiveness of the Uganda investment Authority (UIA). The UIA implements activities that should attract new investments into Uganda. The UIA also facilitates these investments by cutting through the bureaucracies and business hurdles associated with the poor ranking of the “Ease of Doing Business” in Uganda.
Despite considerable resources spent by developing economies on investment promotion, little is known about the success of these activities. It is not clear when new investments have been realized, if this is because of the promotion activities. It is clear however that there are a lot of “Walk in” investors who then find their own way around the several hurdles in the business environment.
For Uganda, after over two decades of investment promotion, it is necessary to evaluate the effectiveness of these activities and its impact on the inflow of investments into the country. In setting up the UIA, Uganda focussed on image building as it was coming from civil and political strife. However, with the advent of better communication technology (internet) image building no longer requires a whole agency of Government to spend resources on conferences where audiences receive information on the climate, the people, the soils, etc. This information is available easily. So, investment destinations must engage in “investor targeting” in order to manage their own economic transformation and develop according to a strategy.
Four propositions form the basis for the study conclusions and for the answer to the research question. A qualitative analysis on the managerial flow model of the UIA and a survey of investors’ satisfaction were undertaken.
The research findings indicate that the UIA may not have been very effective in transforming registered investments into actual projects. Several challenges ranging from policy aspects to managerial flow issues were identified. More time needs to be spend on targeting the comparative advantage. The UIA should restructure to ensure that they integrate HPO and HPP into their institution.