A delegation representing the European Investment Bank (EIB) is currently undertaking a week-long visit to Uganda to engage in discussions with key stakeholders regarding a pipeline of investment opportunities in the country. The delegation aims to visit various ministries and development partners operating in Uganda.
Edward Claessen, the Head of the EIB Regional Hub for Eastern Africa, is leading the delegation and has been conducting courtesy visits to the ministries of Water, Transport, Energy, Housing, Finance, and Justice. The EIB is strongly committed to expanding its investment portfolio in Uganda to support the European Union’s Global Gateway initiative, which aims to provide long-term financing and address investment gaps. The initiative seeks to expedite high-impact projects that contribute to sustainable development while adhering to technical, social, and environmental standards.
During the visit, Edward Claessen of the EIB expressed his optimism about Uganda’s significant potential despite its substantial investment requirements. He highlighted the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as energy and inflation shocks resulting from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which have exacerbated Uganda’s investment needs. Claessen emphasized the Ugandan government’s need for support from partners like the EU and the EIB to stimulate economic recovery, sustained growth, job creation, funding, and investment.
Jan Sadek, the EU Ambassador to Uganda, warmly welcomed the delegation from the European Investment Bank, underscoring the crucial role that the EIB, as part of #TeamEurope, plays in promoting sustainable growth in Uganda. He stated that the European Union’s cooperation with Uganda focuses on addressing the country’s most pressing needs by supporting sustainable development through sound economic policies and good governance.
To date, the EIB has already allocated over EUR 498 million (UGX 2 trillion) to Uganda, primarily financing 31 projects in sectors such as private businesses, energy, water, sewerage, transport, industry, telecom, services, agriculture, fisheries, and forestry. Noteworthy projects include the Eastern Africa Transport Corridor project, the Bujagali Hydroelectric Project, and the Lake Victoria Water and Sanitation project in Kampala.
The EIB’s priority activities in Uganda revolve around key challenges, including supporting climate adaptation and mitigation projects to enhance the resilience of vulnerable communities, as well as improving access to finance for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and microfinance. In addition to its public sector lending to governments, the EIB recognizes the importance of strong financial intermediaries in addressing market challenges and suboptimal investment situations.
The EIB Global aims to leverage its extensive experience and partnerships with banks, microfinance institutions, and equity funds to support their efforts in innovation and broadening the scope of their outreach. The EIB also considers non-banking financial institutions, such as guarantee funds, leasing companies, or fintechs, that have financial models enabling greater access to underserved smaller businesses.
In collaboration with various financial institutions in Uganda, the EIB has already provided over EUR 203 million (UGX 815 billion) to support private sector businesses, with a particular focus on agriculture and gender-related sectors. Furthermore, accompanying technical assistance has been offered to these banks or microfinance institutions and their clients, covering a wide range of topics such as risk management, product development, environmental and social assessment, and financial literacy.
The EIB has been steadily increasing its investments in Africa, with project investments on the continent accounting for nearly 40% of its total investments outside the European Union.