The number of Japanese setting up companies in Uganda is on the rise, the Japanese ambassador to Uganda has said. Kazuaki Kameda said the companies have increased to 30 from 24 last year. He added that more business delegations from Japan are visiting Uganda to tap into existing opportunities in the country.
Kameda was speaking during an event to mark the 85th birthday of Japanese emperor Akihito at his residence in Kampala on Thursday.
“There are many successful Ugandan enterprises in close partnership with Japanese counterparts. Many business talks are ongoing, som eof which are deals of huge scale although I cannot disclose their contents at this moment,” Kameda said.
The embassy, he stated, is facilitating several business negotiations between Japan and Uganda.
“Individual business delegations visit Uganda from Japan more often than before. Some business delegations involve Ugandans who have graduated from Japanese universities,” Kameda explained.
He also revealed that there are currently high level political engagements between Uganda and Japan,and that he recently signed a number of co-operation agreements with finance minister Matia Kasaija, including one loan agreement for the Kampala metropolitan power transmission system improvement project.
“I have signed a grant for the project for improvement of regional referral hospitals in northern Uganda, and another grant for the project for the development of an irrigation system in Atari Basin in eastern Uganda for increased production of rice, ” Kameda said.
Uganda, he explained,is a reliable business partner, and Japan will continue to support its self-help efforts geared towards making the economy robust and sustainable.
The highlight of Uganda Japan flourishing relations this year, Kameda said, is the completion of the Source of the Nile Bridge, adding that Japan’s contribution to the transport sector will continue, with the next project being the Kampala flyover.
Sam Kutesa, the foreign affairs minister, said relations between the two countries are growing.
“I think it is a harbinger for good things to come. Japan has demonstrated that it shares our long-term vision for wealth creation and bridging infrastructure gaps,” he said.
Kutesa noted that Japanese support to Nakawa Vocational Training Institute has greatly contributed to the development of human resource in Uganda. Over 5,000 engineers, Kutesa said, have been churned out by the institute over the last 50 years. He also commended Japan for offering opportunities to Africans to pursue master’s degree programmes in Japan