NUTIP is an independent membership organisation and recognises that the support our members provide goes well beyond defined sectors, and that their strengths are in generic business support. Nevertheless, it is appropriate to highlight the largest sectors in Uganda as well as ones that have significant potential for growth.
- Agribusiness: In the coming years, additional Dutch companies are expected to invest in the processing of animal feeds, dairy and a range of agricultural crops. Informal markets and distribution problems, however, can form barriers to market entrance. Agricultural organisations and cooperatives are generally weak. Lack of access to affordable agri-credit hampers the growth of bankable agribusinesses, but securing cheaper capital from abroad may lower the cost of credit. There is an emerging trend, however, in which a growing number of Ugandan investors are producing quality vegetables for export to the Netherlands and other European markets, particularly herbs, hot peppers and African eggplant.
- Floriculture: The flowers/cuttings industry continues to grow due to existing Dutch investors as well as new investors. The industry employs over 6,000 Ugandans and is an important Ugandan foreign income earner.
- Logistics: Transport costs are high because fuel is imported. The Government of Uganda has committed up to 33% of the national budget for the development of infrastructure, particularly transportation and energy, which are critical for value addition in the agri-sector. The demand for cool storage, cleaning, distribution and agri-machinery is higher than the supply.
- Energy: Only 10% of the Ugandan population has access to the electrical grid. It is critical to increase investment in the construction of additional hydropower dams. Dutch investors are exploring commercial opportunities in mini-hydro. A number of Dutch companies are also investing in biodigesters and business accelerators to develop synergies within the solar industry.
- Business development services: There is significant knowledge in Uganda regarding business services, including human resource development, financial services, information technology, corporate social responsibility, governance and legal services. These are all essential when establishing or expanding a company. All of these services are available within the NUTIP network.
- Professional services: The Netherlands has a great deal of professional expertise to offer to Uganda, particularly related to urban and rural development. Experts can assist in creating an environmental plan that facilitates the business community as well as the people living in that area. Experts can also develop inclusive circular business models that create long-term sustainability for the community, its inhabitants and the local economy.
- Trade: Uganda’s ability to produce commodities in abundance, together with the Netherlands’ highly-advanced, durable and fast-moving consumer goods, creates the potential for symbiosis and mutually beneficial trade. It is important for both countries is to reduce trade barriers through dialogue on hard barriers and creating knowledge on how to overcome soft barriers, such as culture and language.
- Tourism: Uganda, known as ‘The Pearl of Africa’, has a tourism sector with several dominant Dutch players. While this sector is a substantial source of Ugandan foreign income, it is also vulnerable with regard to prices and perceived risks, such as disease, terrorism and political instability. The dialogue between the tourism sector and Dutch businesses can have a stimulating effect on the sector that benefits both the Dutch and Ugandan economies.