Rabobank wants to be part of Uganda’s ambition to become a middle income country

Uganda has made substantial progress thanks to macroeconomic achievements and growth. It has the full potential for sustained economic development. This became clear at a dinner for Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni on 30 September 2013 that was hosted by Rabobank Executive Board Member Berry Marttin.

Rabobank organised a dinner together with Alfasan, FMO and RoyalHaskoningDHV for the President of Uganda during his two-day visit to the Netherlands. All these companies are already developing business activities in Uganda. While each company approaches it from different angles, they are all confident that their activities in the country can be sustainable and can also contribute to the development of the local economy.

As is the case in many developing countries and emerging economies, there are specific constraints to foreign investment. The President discussed in detail the challenges Uganda is facing in the field of agriculture, particularly land fragmentation and the debate this has triggered in his country. Financing agriculture, which is of specific interest to Rabobank as the leading bank in this sector worldwide, is a highly specialised area. It is a field in which Rabobank could make a difference by applying its cooperative heritage and banking knowledge. The issue of the pricing of capital was also discussed during the dinner. Uganda does not have a government benchmark for long-term lending because it does not sell bonds. The financial sector would benefit from having a reference in order to be able to determine the price of long-term capital and to set the right price for their long-term lending to private borrowers.

The President showed great interest in each company attending the dinner. He showed particular interest in the development of livestock, especially best practices in countries such as Brazil in Latin America. He also did not lose sight of the other sectors that will be of importance in developing Uganda’s economy.

Uganda is paving the way to becoming a middle income country. It will be exciting and challenging for companies to walk along this path and work with the partners in Uganda to achieve this goal for the benefit of all.

More information: Christine Pirenne Rabo Development