East African region investment priorities

January 23, 2014

A new independent study has revealed the key areas that the five East African countries and they include industries entitled to government fiscal incentives and non-fiscal incentives. The study is based on net value-added, job generation, and measured capacity and reveals which sectors are awarded incentives to help stimulate investment on annual basis. Late last year, the east African countries announced plans for a more focused future that will reflect a streamlining and harmonizing of the fiscal incentives system in the region that includes tax incentives to investments that will produce the biggest benefits where they are most needed. According to a bureaucrat I spoke to recently, the East African region’s preferred investment sectors which have the government and donor support includes the energy with Uganda leading the way, agribusiness and fisheries, creative industries and knowledge-based services, marine and shipbuilding.

Others include real estate development, infrastructure, research and development, strategic projects, hospital and medical services, disaster prevention, mitigation and recovery projects, aviation, tourism, mining and exploration. The study has identified activities granted tax and other incentives as mining, Industrial forestation, exploration, renewable energy, Tourism, processing of minerals, publishing industry, self development, refining, storage, marketing, and distribution of petroleum products, ecological solid waste management, clean water and sewerage projects as well as rehabilitation. Export activities and priority investment areas revealed by the study includes exports, agriculture, agribusiness, aquaculture fishery, basic industries, consumer manufactures, infrastructure and services, industrial service facilities, engineering industries and logistics. Investment areas identified include but not limited to health, tourism and education services and sports facilities. I believe that East African Community’s collective effort in helping promote investment with incentives and a favorable regional regulatory framework to better guide and encourage investors to invest in the region is laudable.

Contador Harrison