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MINERALS: Museveni warns technocrats frustrating investors

 

FILE PHOTO: An official of African Gold refinery briefs Museveni at the company’s launch earlier this year. The company has complained of little support from government officials.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | President Yoweri Museveni has, once again, strongly warned all technocrats in government ministries and departments to immediately stop frustrating foreign investors who come to Uganda to add value to the county’s products.

Museveni specifically directed officials from the Department of Minerals in the Ministry of Energy and Minerals to expeditiously process all the documentation required by mineral investors to enable those entrepreneurs implement their work smoothly.

The President’s directive came at the conclusion of the 2-day 5th Presidential Investors’ Round Table (PIRT) meeting Thursday, according to a statement from State House. It followed complaints by investors from the African Gold Refinery group that they are not receiving prompt support from the line ministries and departments in government to enable them export refined gold.

“This technocrat, Commissioner this, Commissioner that; why do you delay providing investors with the required licences? I am giving you up to Tuesday next week to provide these investors with the necessary support and I will meet you on Wednesday,” he directed.

The 5th PIRT meeting that was attended by foreign entrepreneurs, who included among others, Baroness Linda Chalker from Britain, was reviewing the progress made by various Uganda Government Ministries, Departments and Agencies since President Museveni launched it in August 2015.

The sectors covered in that period included Tourism, Competitiveness and Ease of Doing Business, Energy (Oil and Gas) as well as Minerals’ Value Addition.

PIRT makes recommendations and advises government on how to improve the investment climate in the country to make it competitive in the global economy.

President Yoweri Museveni and First Lady Janet Museveni pose for a group photograph after the Round Table Investors meeting at State House Entebbe. Thursday 0/12/2017. PHOTOS BY PPU

The meeting agreed on a number of actions and resolutions to fast track the development of critical areas, especially Oil and Gas as well as Minerals’ Value Addition, in the country.

Regarding the oil and gas sector, the meeting agreed on a number of actions including prioritizing the construction of the critical infrastructure in the Albertine Graben region in Western Uganda.

On Minerals’ Value Addition, it was agreed that Government facilitate the feasibility study on the investment and development of salt value chain as well as building capacity to enhance continuous exploration, among other activities.

Prime Minister, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, emphasized the need for government prioritization of key areas of development such as infrastructure and skills’ development, among other areas.

Linda Chalker urged technocrats to implement the recommendations made by the Technical Working Groups if Uganda is to realize development.

Certificates were given out to the technical work groups’ members to appreciate their work. They included  Richard Kaijuka ,  Elly Karuhanga,  Daniel Peterson,  Jimmy Mugerwa and  Ben Mugasha, among others.

The First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports, Janet Museveni, 1st Deputy Prime Minister and Deputy Leader of Government Business in Parliament, Gen. Moses Ali, and Finance and Economic Planning Minister,  Matia Kasaija and Energy and Minerals Minister,  Irene Muloni, among others, attended the PIRT meeting.

RELATED STORY: Museveni launches gold refinery, to abolish royalty tax

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