Read why you should choose Uganda for global business expansion
A global view of Uganda.
According to the UK Trade and Investment website, benefits of operating a business in Uganda include a stable, liberalised economy, a strong natural resource base and a government committed to the private sector.
Furthermore, the 2013 United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) research titled World Investment Report indicated that Uganda had received the most Foreign Direct Investment by closure of 2012 in sectors such as oil, mining and gas. These FDI inflows coupled with a business friendly environment had helped Uganda to overtake Kenya and become a favourite destination for foreign investors in East Africa.
Bottlenecks when expanding into Uganda include relatively underdeveloped infrastructure, lack of access to affordable loan financing, varying power supply, as well bureaucracy.
MTN helps boost Ugandan Business Growth
One area where Uganda is certainly not lacking is telecommunications and technology. MTN Uganda, which opened in 1998, is largely to thank for this.
According to the UNCTAD 2015 World Investment Report, African investors accounted for some 31% of global planned capital expenditure in announced Greenfield FDI projects in Africa in 2014, with MTN considered one of the biggest investors.
In fact, in July this year, MTN Uganda launched a countrywide 4G/LTE coverage, bringing high-speed internet to clients in all of the country's major towns at competitive rates. LTE coverage means businesses have lower transport costs, as the convenience of high-quality MTN Video conferencing replaces the need to travel from town to town for meetings.
MTN surmounted the country's various infrastructure challenges to cover in excess of 90% of the urban population, providing services in more than 150 towns and villages.
To ensure that everybody can get the support their business requires, the telecommunication giant has stayed true to its slogan 'Everywhere You Go', establishing numerous customer services points across the country, at key points such as downtown markets, post offices and malls, while its toll-free helpline offers assistance in as many as 20 local and international languages.
Expanding your own Business into Uganda – Procedures and Costs
According to the World Bank Group's 2015 Doing Business report, which ranks each country according to the ease of doing business, there are 15 procedures one needs to complete when starting a business in Uganda with the entire process taking a maximum of 32 days.
The process begins with the reservation of your company name and the submission of the 'Name Reservation Form' at the Uganda Registration Services Bureau – at the cost of around UGX. 27,000 (about USD 7).
The next steps include registering your company and filing the necessary documents at the Office of the Registrar, obtaining the 'Certification of Incorporation', along with obtaining a Tax Identification Number (TIN), and registering for taxes at the Uganda Revenue Authority.
Obtaining a trading licence takes about 10 days and costs around UGX. 400,000 or USD 109. The process ends with the making of a company seal at a cost of UGX. 225,000 or USD 61.
One of the best ways to ensure the process goes smoothly is to ensure that you have all your paperwork in order, as well as the funds needed to clear all the necessary payments.
Looking for MTN Solutions in Uganda? Click here for a range of solutions. www.mtn.co.ug
Quick Facts about Uganda:
- Currency: Uganda Shillings (UGX).
- Currency Rate used in this article: 1 USD = UGX 3700.
- Uganda Population: 37.5 million by end of 2013.
- Neighbouring Countries: South Sunday (North), DR Congo (West), Kenya (East), Tanzania (South) and Rwanda (South West).
- Independence: 9th October 1962.
- Motto: For God and My Country.
- President: Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.
- Official Languages: English and Swahili
- Unofficial but widely spoken Language: Luganda.