It is always good to have a positive role model. Especially one who has endured the occasional long and harsh roads and is still here to tell about it. Generally, this type of role model not only earns the respect of their peers; but also gains a stable of followers.
In the African context, if we are talking about recent economic growth amidst large hurdles, it is difficult to disregard Uganda. This is a country that has endured some major trials and has slowly over time edged it's way back into a period of sustained economic growth. Does this make Uganda a role model for other developing economies wishing to grow foreign direct investment?
If we take a peek at Uganda through the lens of foreign direct investment we can see that this country is making bigger economic strides step by step and year by year.
Foreign Direct Investments to Uganda have increased by four times during the first financial quarter of the year, according to a report released by the Ugandan Parliament on Thursday.
The parliamentary committee measured the number of licensed investment projects, as recorded by the Uganda Investment Authority between July and September of this year versus last year. Between July and September of 2005 there were 67 projects totaling $ 126m; while the same time span in 2006 yielded 135 projects totaling $584m.
The breakdown by sector is as follows:
- Tourism 20%
- Real estate 20%
- Transport & Communication 16%
- Manufacturing 15%
- Water & Energy 14%
- Followed by agribusiness and mining
By the way Uganda has had some major mountains to climb very recently. Climatic changes which reduced the nations coffee supply, plus security issues on the Uganda/Sudan border have both been tough problems. However, total exports still managed to go up during this time frame. Between July and September of 2006 Ugandan exports grew (by 20%) when compared against 2005.
In conclusion, over a short period of time Uganda has come a long way economically. Although this country is not perfect, I believe that other developing countries would be wise to take notes on both Uganda's foreign direct investment promotion and it's economic reform policies .
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