East African countries want private investors to take up projects worth about $10 billion to fast-track economic development and lift millions out of poverty.
Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda unveiled projects worth $9.9 billion at a recent Global African Investment Summit held in Kigali.
Analysts believe the three countries are capable of attracting investors because East Africa still presents opportunities for businesses looking for quick returns on investments.
Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania presented projects valued at $7.3 billion, $1.5 billion and $1.08 billion respectively. This points to the region’s growing appetite for private capital inflows to stimulate growth.
Tanzanian authorities are looking for investors in the rehabilitation and expansion of three airports and also construction of a new one. It is hoped the investments will help foster regional integration, and boost intra-African trade as well as tourism.
According to Clifford K Tandari, acting executive director of the Tanzania Investment Centre, construction of a new airport at Msalato is in the pipeline to the travels to new capital Dodoma. The project is estimated to cost at least $165 million.
Tanzania also plans to upgrade Arusha Airport to handle big cargo and passenger planes at a cost of $40 million. This is expected to reduce pressure on Julius Nyerere Airport.
An additional $125 million is to be invested in rehabilitation of Lindi Airport in the southwest, while $30 million is needed for the rehabilitation and upgrading of Manyara Lake Airport in Serengeti Park.
Tanzania also seeks to position itself as the main logistics hub for oil, gas and petrochemical industries.
Staying the Course, Ernst &Young’s Africa attractiveness report, said oil and gas discoveries in Uganda and Tanzania have placed the two countries “on investors’ radar.”
Combined, at least 2.3 billion barrels of oil have been discovered in Uganda and Kenya. Tanzania has discovered more than 55 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, one of the largest reserves in the world.
While Uganda and Kenya are expected to begin oil production next year, Tanzania plans to start exploiting LNG in 2019.
INFOGRAPHIC- Oil and gas production schedules for East Africa
Uganda is seeking over $300 million to develop an ICT park on a 17-hectare piece of land.
It is hoped the park will provide 16,000 jobs when completed.
Analysts say East African countries are competitive investment destinations as they have maintained a strong economic growth despite persistence of low commodity prices.
“Tanzania is currently growing at around 7 per cent per annum, Rwanda is forecast to grow at 6.0 per cent for 2016, and the Kenyan economy is growing at over 5 per cent. A market in expansion is always attractive to investors, even when per capita incomes are still quite low. Proof of this is the rate of inward foreign investment,” said Andrew Mold, officer-in-charge of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa’s sub-regional office for East Africa.
Rwanda came out strongly to market high-end tourism products.
The country has lined up a number of projects, mainly in tourism sector that when developed through public-private funding mode, are likely to help Rwanda grow its conference tourism.
The projects that Rwanda is marketing are the Kigali Cultural Village, Deluxe Resort-Golf Course, Gihaya Island Resort, Hot Springs Eco resort Hotel and Strip Rubavu.