Latest News Highlights

Embassy of Uganda in Burundi coordinates largely successful Uganda-Burundi business forum

Thursday, 24th March 2022
Distinguished guests at the Uganda-Burundi forum

Uganda and Burundi held a milestone business forum with an aim of stimulating bilateral trade and investment for economic growth and sustainable development. The forum was held in Bujumbura at the Source du Nil (Source of the Nile Hotel) on Wednesday 23rd March 2022. 

The business forum, which was attended by the Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development of the Republic of Uganda, Hon. Judith Nabakooba, the Minister of Trade and Industry of the Republic of Burundi, Hon. Marie Chantal Nijimbere, and the Minister of State for Agriculture of the Republic of Uganda Hon. Bwino Kyakulaga, was hosted by the Federal Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Burundi (CFCIB), and jointly organized by CFCIB, Uganda National Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UNCCI), Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU) and the Uganda Manufacturers' Association (UMA).

The Chairman Burundi Chamber of Commerce and Industry Mr. Audace Ndayizeye informed the forum that imports by Burundi from Uganda include mainly tobacco and tobacco substitutes iron, steel, plastic, beverages, spirits, and vinegar. He also stated that exports from Burundi to Uganda include precious stones, metal, coffee, tea, raw hides, and skins.

Mr. Ndayizeye stated that the Government of Burundi, through the new investment code provides incentives for investors whether nationals or foreigners, for example foreigners can be given land for their projects. Recently the Government of Burundi embarked on the development of Free Economic Zones/Industrial Parks of an area of 530 Ha to be given to Investors.

The Chairman pointed out priority sectors for investment in Burundi as energy, mining, manufacturing, and processing industries, infrastructure, tourism and hospitality, health and agro-business. He reminded the forum that even though Burundi has a population of 12 million, it has an access market of over 100 million consumers from DRC and this is facilitated by the existing trade agreements between Burundi and DRC.

He appealed to the Leaders to fast track the Construction of the regional road linking Kampala to Burundi via Mutukula-Kabanga- Kobero. The road from Bujumbura to Kampala via Kobero-Kabanga-Mutukula stretches 754 Km, about 106 Km shorter than the Bujumbura to Kampala Road (860 Km).

Mr. Badru Ntege Board Member Private Sector Foundation Uganda stated that Private Sector Uganda is comprised of 12 sectors that is Agriculture, Agro-business and Forestry, Construction, Tourism and Hospitality, Information Communication Technology, Manufacturing and Conversion Industries, Trade and Commerce, Human Resources (skills Education and Health) Creative Arts, Professional Services, Financial Services, Logistics /Transport and Minerals, Oil and Gas.

Mr. Peter Muramira, the Ag Director, Investment Promotion & Business Development, at the Uganda Investment Authority informed the forum that Government of Uganda has various investment incentives including 10-year tax holiday to investors in agriculture, industrial park development and manufacturing. He added that Uganda aims to establish over 25 Industrial Park for investors among others. He stated that Uganda has steadily grown to become the second in FDI inflows in the EAC.

Mr. Christian Nibasumba, the Country Representative of Trade Mark East Africa suggested that Uganda should strategize on how to utilize Burundi to strategically access wider markets of Uvira, Lubumbashi and Kigoma.

According to statistics, by 2021, Uganda's exports to Burundi were estimated at US$ 64.99 million, a 75% increase from US$ 37.03 million in 2019. On the other hand, Uganda's imports from Burundi were estimated at US$ 25.46 million in 2021. 

The forum was largely successful, with close to 40 participants, including URA, UIA, UGACHICK,  UNCC, Yug Pharmaceuticals, MOVIT products, Kakira Sugar, Victorious Education Services among others. Business participants were able to articulate challenges, experiences and successes, which were carefully matrixed to feed into the JPC process.