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Promoting Ugandan Investment Prospects in Chennai

Wednesday, 18th August 2021


The three-day Hybrid Uganda Road show held in Chennai from 12th to 14thAugust was flagged off to a resounding daily start by four Ministers; backed by their technical teams.  The Road Show was designed to beat COVID 19 restrictions and featured physical as well as virtual speakers, audiences and other facilitators, including artists. On the first day of the Show, the Minister for industry, trade and cooperatives, the Hon Francis Mwebase, recalled his long-term association with India and urged the Indian business community to join him in accelerating the current Ugandan industrialisation drive. The Minister for Energy and Mineral Development, the Hon Dr Ruth Sentammu Nankabirwa, stopped by the roadside on her tour of the the Albertine oil area, to welcome Tamil Nadu businessmen and women to invest in Uganda's lucrative oil and gas as well as mineral sectors. While delivering his keynote address in the tourism sector on the second day, the Hon Tom Butime, minister for tourism, wild life and antiquities, outlined investment opportunities for Indian entrepreneurs in the tourism and wildlife sector of the Ugandan economy. He reminded the hybrid audience of the unsurpassed status of the Pearl of Africa as a global holiday destination: complete with her unparalleled natural beauty, flora and fauna. On the third day, the minister of state for trade, Ms Harriet Ntabazi, commended India for being the best trading partner for Uganda and called on traders in both countries to increase the volumes of tradable items from Uganda so as to balance the trade between the two friendly countries.

The three-day hybrid exhibition featured Ugandan cultural performances and was opened on the physical platform by the Chairman and Managing Director of Tamil Nadu Industrial Investment Corporation, Hans Raj Verma. Verna welcomed the new approach of State-focused dialogue as an effective tool for promoting mutually beneficial economic growth with the State of Tamil Nadu. He extended a hand of cooperation and partnership to all Ugandan businessmen and women as well as agencies that wished to work with Tamil Nadu Industrial Investment Corporation, and other Tamil Nadu agencies in furthering economic growth in Uganda. Verna also stressed the importance of women in powering economic growth stressing that women are the anchors not only of families but of every society as well.

Run on both virtual and physical platforms, the Uganda Road Show was held in the south-eastern city of Chennai, the capital of the State of Tamil Nadu. Chennai is one of the engines of economic growth in India and the theme of the Road Show, Uganda-India raising flags for economic growth, reflected the need to introduce Uganda to the businessmen and women of every part of India. Included in the Mission endeavour in this direction is the highly innovative and emerging socio-economic giant of Tamil Nadu in south-eastern India.

Among the attractions of Tamil Nadu is its agricultural transformation which has ensured food security for the State and food surpluses for intra- and extra-Indian trade. The State has attained a high level of  industrialisation featuring among others: a vast cotton, textile and apparel industry, a sprawling car manufacturing industry, as well as its multitude of technological advances. The State of Tamil Nadu is no doubt a key player in national Indian economic growth. In regard to its car industry, Tamil Nadu is sometimes referred to as the Detroit of India. The State accounts for 45 per cent of national car exports and is the largest tyre manufacturer in the country.

Tamil Nadu is the throbbing heartbeat of the Indian technological revolution, which has taken the country through space exploration to land on Mars. This technological revolution had in part been nurtured by a Tamil Nadu son and rocket scientist, Avul Pakir Jainuladeen Abdul Kalam, the 11th President of India; globally known as the Missile Man of India.

It is these attributes which beckoned the Mission to this south-eastern State of India in an attempt to make friends for Uganda who could help to tap into the world of finance, knowledge and technology gurus who could be persuaded to join the country in her struggle for socio-economic transformation.