South Africa President Jacob Zuma will visit Uganda on March 25 with a business delegation to scout for investment opportunities in the country's budding oil sector, a senior government official said on Wednesday.
Uganda has seen a sudden surge in foreign investor interest in the country's economy, stoked by the discovery in 2006 of commercial hydrocarbon deposits in the Albertine Graben that straddles its border with the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Maggie Kigozi, the executive director of the state-run Uganda Investment Authority (UIA), told a news conference that South Africa had an advanced mining and petroleum industry with immense potential as a source of investors for Uganda.
"Even before oil, South Africa has been an excellent source of investment for Uganda, MTN is the best example," she said, refering to the South African mobile phone group.
"We think the great success we've had in sectors like telecommunications and retail with South African investors can now be extended to oil," she said.
South Africa's commercial footprint in Uganda includes the country's leading telecommunications company MTN Uganda, retail firms Shoprite and Game Stores and Stanbic Bank Uganda, a subsidiary of Standard Bank.
Kigozi said Uganda was also keen on pitching business opportunities in the wider minerals sector to South Africa.
"Uganda recently mapped its mineral wealth and we now know we have substantial deposits of key minerals like phosphates, gold, tin, zinc and many others and we want to market this potential to investors," she said.
UIA predicts Uganda will suck in investment worth $3 billion in 2010, fuelled by foreign interest in the nation's oil sector.
During his visit Zuma will officiate at a business forum where presentations about Uganda's oil sector will be made by experts from the government and petroleum companies in Uganda.
He is also expected to launch the Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum, a not-for-profit organization formed as a resource centre for potential investors and analysts.
ReutersGüncelleme Tarihi: 18 Mart 2010, 00:33