Thursday, February 26, 2009

Uganda: China grants reach sh197b

Tuesday, 24th February, 2009 - By David Muwanga and Mikaili Sseppuya

China has extended a total of $100m (about sh197b) loans and grants to Uganda in the last five years. “The Chinese government has provided Uganda interest free loans and grants to set up different projects in the country totalling $100m since November 2003 to date,” the former industry state minister, Prof. Ephraim Kamuntu, said.

“The projects that benefited include Kibimba and Doho rice schemes, which have promoted agriculture diversification and made Uganda one of the major rice producers in Africa,” he said.

This was during the launch of the China Enterprises Chamber of Commerce in Uganda at the Sheraton Kampala Hotel, recently.

Kamuntu said the other projects financed by China include Mandela Stadium, the Uganda Industrial Research Institute, the foreign affairs ministry headquarters, trucks for various government departments, health and education exchange programmes.

in addition, he said, the China had promised to double assistance to Africa this year during the Beijing summit and provide $3b (about sh5.9 trillion) preferential loans and $2b (about sh3.9 trillion) preferential buyers’ credit.

Kamuntu added that it would also set up a $5b (about sh9.8 trillion) China-Africa development fund to encourage Chinese companies to invest in Africa.

Gavin Zhao, the chamber chairman, said the objective of the chamber was to establish commercial links between Uganda and China to boost trade and cooperation.

“the chamber will attract more Chinese investors to come and take advantage of the good investment climate in Uganda and contribute to its development,” he said.

“We shall also provide business consultation services and other forms of assistance to the Chinese government, enterprises and institutes.”