COVID-19 Impact: Investment Authority says Uganda already in recession

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Kampala – The Uganda Investment Authority-UIA the body in charge of attracting investors in Uganda has said that the economy is already in recession due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

UIA Acting Executive Director Lawrence Byensi says that they have received calls from investors telling them that they are laying off employees and downsizing their operations, acts that are indicative of a recession. Byensi was addressing journalists in Kampala yesterday.

In order to have the whole picture of what impact COVID-19 has had on the job market, Byensi said they are conducting a survey in which they are asking individual companies how they have been affected. “We want to pick the real story and facts by the people affected by the COVID-19.

Different companies are going to be affected differently. With this survey, we can be in a better position to give you the figures,” Byensi said. Meanwhile, Byensi said that in the last three months, the licensed companies had planned to create 7,551 jobs, of which 1,428 were by local investors while 6,123 were by foreign investors.

Due to the precautionary measures undertaken by Uganda and countries globally to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a slow down on the response to the investment promotion activities of the authority as well as on the implementation of the licensed investments. Byensi says that UIA envisages a reduction in the creation of jobs if the interventions under discussion by the government are not implemented.

He added that UIA expects a slowdown in the implementation of projects considering a number of investment owners were caught up in their home countries, various company staff were also caught up away from their homes and work interruptions in the transfer of investment fund and negotiations in some joint venture projects were also interrupted.

On several occasions President Museveni has insisted that Uganda will be mildly affected by COVID-19 because of the core tenets on which the economy sit like agriculture, security, among others have not been affected.

(URN)

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