KAMPALA - The forthcoming 3rd East African Community (EAC) investment conference, slated for Kampala later this month, is expected to attract over 2,000 investors from within and outside the region, officials have said.
According to Doris Mitti Nakiwala, the Deputy Director of Communications at the Uganda Investment Authority, the number includes invited delegates from EAC partner states and 200 foreign officials.
“Of this anticipated number of attendants, Rwanda will be represented by a delegation of 250 participants,” Nakiwala said in an interview with The New Times at her office yesterday.
She said that this time around, business to business meetings will be encouraged other than having more of plenary sittings.
“We shall have more of business meetings other than having the politicians talk,” Nakiwala said.
The conference that will take place from 28-30th this month is being organised by the EAC Secretariat in collaboration with regional investment promotion agencies, the East African Business Council and the Ugandan Government.
In his message posted on the EAC website, Uganda’s Minister of State for Investment, Aston Kajara, says that the conference will offer new opportunities that will include awarding the best investors.
“This year, we will introduce the long-awaited EAC Investor of the Year Awards. The awards will recognize and encourage cross-border investments and strengthen bonds of integration, while sharing experiences across the region,” Kajara says.
He adds that at the end of the conference, the global business community will have had a much closer look at the potential of East Africa.
The Minister expresses optimism that the conference will also set the foundations for long-lasting joint ventures and partnerships between local and international businesses.
“This year we will highlight the Public-Private Partnerships in order to create a market awareness of how such partnerships have reaped huge benefits for countries like South Africa, Brazil and China,” he says.
“As we showcase the opportunities that the East African Community offers, we shall discuss the possibilities in joint partnerships and direct investments in the region.”
The high-level meeting that takes place annually was first held in Rwanda in 2008 and it is held with a primary aim of marketing the East African bloc as a single investment destination.
The EAC is made up of approximately 130 million people with a Gross Domestic Product of more than US$60 billion.