Dr Ruhakana Rugunda is expected to be the guest of honour

Uganda is left with just over a week to host the CII Exim Bank Conclave on India and East Africa in Kampala, making the country the first in the region to host the event.

A source who talked to Eagle Online said the Office of the Prime Minister in collaboration with Uganda’s High Commission in New Delhi are coordinating the preparations that will see Indian investors, led by Commercial Secretary Ms Rita Teaotia, arrive for a two-day event scheduled for November 20-21,2017.

Premier Dr Ruhakana Rugunda requested for Uganda to host the event when he participated in the March 2017 Conclave in New Delhi, and countries from eastern and central Africa are expected to send delegates including ministers and CEOs to the event that will also host delegates from countries outside Africa such as Japan UAE, UK, among others.

Delegates at the gathering will focus on business deliberations, Business to Government (B2Gs) and Business to Business (B2Bs) engagements. It will be an opportunity for the Indian and African industry to identify priority areas and key projects for Indian investment and partnership, with a long-term commitment to the East African region.

The government of India and East African Business Council are some of the partners organising the event that will see 42 Indian delegates attend the event. They will represent sectors such as automobile, finance, and healthcare, among others.

The project opportunities presented by East African companies and organisations would form an important component of the B2B discussions. The conclave will also serve as a critical platform for key dialogues between the Indian and East African business leaders, as well as between Governments from the two regions.

The focus will be in sectors such as agriculture, infrastructure, manufacturing, mining, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, power and energy, tourism among others.

Representatives from international organisations like United Nations Commission for Africa, International Trade Centre, African Development Bank, East African Community and East African Business Council will attend the meeting.

Uganda and East African region general is of direct interest to India, both politically and economically. India has enjoyed historically enjoyed close economic ties with Eastern African countries and much of it is through investment-led trade.

“Even though Indian companies have an established footprint in these countries, huge potential exists in increasing Indian project exports to the region,” reads part of the statement by Exim Bank.

Some of the reasons for the Indian investors to choose the region are: The region has Market access to more than 145.5 million people and combined GDP size of about US$ 147.5 billion and it is the world’s fastest reforming region in terms of business regulation.

Despite being the most promising trading partners for India on the African continent, the eastern Africa region has abundant labour force – educated, trained, mobile, skilled and enterprising.