The Executive Director of Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) Jolly Kamugira Kaguhangire has urged humanitarian organizations and individuals involved in efforts to support refugees to invest in Uganda.
According to Ms. Kaguhangire, Arua and other refugee hosting districts have huge investment potential that provides market and varied skills that can sustain businesses.
“There is a need to think of projects that employ them (refugees) and make use of their skills,” Ms. Kaguhangire said in an afternoon session of the Uganda Solidarity Summit for Refugees held under the theme ‘How can private sector take part in the supporting refugee efforts in Uganda’, held at the Serena International Conference Centre, and attended by UN secretary General Antonio Guterres.
During the session Ms. Kaguhangire also noted that the private sector can create sustainable solutions and investments that can change the lives of refugees and host communities, adding that Uganda offers tax holidays of up to 15 years to investors that inject in the industrial sector.
“Investing in refugee hosting communities is not a case of philanthropy, it has a strong business case for private sector,” she said, adding however, that emphasis should be put on averting the conflict that is prevailing in South Sudan than mobilizing funds and managing refugees.
She also discouraged handouts to the refugees, calling for practical initiatives “to engage them for sustenance of their livelihood.”.
“Offering them with education will contribute to the development of the country,” she added.
The Summit seeks to raise US$2 billion for humanitarian help to towards refugees over four years.