President Museveni has said Uganda is unmatched as a tourism attraction due to its great weather and idyllic tourism sites.
Museveni was speaking Tuesday morning at the Africa Business and Investment Forum held at the Sheraton Hotel Conference Centre in the heart of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
He started by urging investors to seriously consider setting up shop in Africa, saying the continent presented immense opportunities and offered a great return on investment.
In a discussion moderated by Mr Stephen Karinge of the Economic Commission for Africa, President Museveni said Africans effective demand was on the rise, offering great opportunity to investors.
“Fifty-three years ago, I took my first lesson in Economics and the teacher wrote on the blackboard, saying demand equals desire plus ability to pay. If you have only desire minus ability to pay, that is not demand,” he said.
“Desires of Africans is slowly being backed by ability to pay. Ten years ago, Africa’s purchasing power was $500 billion. Today, it is $8.2 trillion. Africa’s demand has grown 16 times. If you are a businessman, this should click,” said President Museveni.
The President told the gathering that “conservative” projections showed that Africa’s purchasing power would be $36 trillion by the year 2050, noting that it provided opportunities to investors.
Speaking particularly about Uganda, President Museveni said the country’s economy has been growing at an average of 7% for the last 20 years despite the bottlenecks.
“We had a lot of bottlenecks like low electricity and high transport and money costs. We have addressed or are addressing all these bottlenecks. My strategic thinking tells me Uganda is the right place to go,” he said.
President Museveni said these correct economic initiatives had caught the eyes of researchers who were now confirming what he (Museveni) had known for long; that Uganda’s economy will be fastest growing.
“The Harvard Centre for Strategic Studies recently did a study, saying East Africa will be the fastest growing economies by 2025. Uganda tops the list followed by India. I already knew that Uganda will be a modern place in the world. Please read that report,” he said.
Pitching for Uganda’s tourism, President Museveni said the country is unmatched on this front, citing the great weather and idyllic tourism sites.
“On aspects like tourism, Uganda has no comparison. Uganda is one of the only two points on the globe on the Equator with a high elevation. I hear the other point is in Ecuador though I have not been there. This offers us the perfect weather. We don’t have to warm and cool the air.”
Museveni also noted that although Africa suffers the problem of fragmented markets, the leaders were undertaking efforts to ensure integration and resolve this issue.
“By 2050, Africa will have 2.5 billion people. We were cut into 54 colonies. African leaders have worked hard and we are starting process of market integration so that it is one market,” he said.