Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto has urged the East African business community to seek investment opportunities in Uganda’s private sector.
Speaking in Kampala at a dialogue event with Uganda’s business community, policymakers and opinion leaders, Ruto discussed prospects for regional trade, integration and cooperation.
“The East Africa Community (EAC) must bolster trading with itself to increase earnings for its citizens, create wealth and employment,” he said during the affair, which took place over the weekend.
He added that the move will deepen integration and build muscle to negotiate with other economic blocs.
His sentiments came barely a day after he received a 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award during an event dubbed the Young Achievers awards ceremony in Kampala. Ruto was accompanied by Uganda’s Prime Minister, Ruhakana Rugunda.
“Let us leverage on our young people’s enthusiasm and energy to unleash new opportunities; open arenas for discovery and achievement,” the Deputy President enthused.
“Africa is a rich continent that values hard work, enterprise, craft and innovation, mostly associated with the youth. To unlock their potential, we must give primacy to science, technology, and technical education and place it at the centerpiece of our transformation,” said Ruto.
Calling for greater cooperation across the East African region, he stated that investing in commerce and infrastructure must fit together with political goodwill to realize a robust, cross-border trading regime.
He explained that these measures will help address youth unemployment, poverty and trade imbalance.
Ruto emphasized a raft of investment opportunities across the region, ranging from agriculture to manufacturing and cross-border trade.
Prior to his Uganda visit, the Deputy President had highlighted Kenya’s potential as a preferred investment destination. He mentioned the importance of vocational training in creating the labor force of the future.
“We are creating a knowledge economy that requires a skilled, competent manpower to generate wealth and realise sustainable growth. That is why vocational training to equip youth with technical know-how and practice is a priority,” Ruto said.
He later met with Uganda’s President, Yoweri Museveni at State House Entebbe, on August 19th, 2018.
“Continued collaboration in trade, agriculture and capital investments will result in new, diversified income streams and strengthen the two countries’ economies,” Ruto concluded.