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FDI in EAC: opportunities & challenges

Video guest: Josephine Mwangi

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Tuesday, 04 August 2015

FDI in EAC: opportunities & challenges

The regional bloc attracted FDI inflow of $7.09b in 2014, up from $6.2b in 2013, with Tanzania leading the way , followed by Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, and Burundi.  Yet, despite high and attractive levels of foreign direct investment (FDI) in the EAC region, analysts are divided over the extent to which this FDI is actually benefiting the region, its people and development.  Trade and investment analyst, and former Ugandan ambassador to the World Trade Organisation Nathan Irumba argues that the type of FDI the region is attracting has limited job creation potential. Irumba reasons that if investments were directed into the agricultural value chain, a sector that employs the majority of East Africans, then more jobs would be created: “If we get more investors in agriculture, especially in the value addition, we would be able to create linkages between what the farmers do on the land and agro processing.” In addition, the 2015 report titled: “Foreign Direct Investments (FDIs) in Uganda: Impact on people’s economic, social and cultural rights” authored by Southern and Eastern African Trade Information and Negotiation Institute (SEATINI) finds that FDI has led to significant land loss, environmental degradation and there has been a lack of consultation. Investments ought to be pro-development, and where necessary the EAC member states should be able to renegotiate, or even repeal certain Bilateral Investment Treaties (BITs) e.g. see Uganda’s BITs with France and Denmark.

Source: newvision.co.ug