President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni recently expressed his belief that supporting the private sector is a strategic move that has significantly strengthened Uganda’s economy. He made this statement while commissioning Four Points By Sheraton Kampala, an internationally renowned hotel brand operated by Marriott International Inc. in Kololo, Kampala, on October 31.
The Sheraton franchise is owned by Portman Square Limited, an international company that also operates two hotels in Kenya, namely Four Points by Sheraton Nairobi Airport and Four Points by Sheraton Hurlingham.
President Museveni emphasized that the support for the private sector is a crucial aspect of nationalism, contributing to Uganda’s rapid economic recovery after the tumultuous era of former President Idi Amin. He highlighted that they had learned the importance of endorsing the private sector during their struggle against Amin’s regime, as it proved to be instrumental in building a robust economy. The President firmly stated that a thriving private sector is vital to national independence and economic strength.
Additionally, President Museveni disclosed that returning confiscated properties to Asians who were expelled during Idi Amin’s rule was another essential step to revitalize Uganda’s economy. He stressed the importance of resolving property disputes to create a conducive environment for new investors.
In his address, President Museveni extended a warm welcome to investors and assured them of a business-friendly atmosphere. He recounted how Uganda expanded its hotel infrastructure to meet international standards when preparing to host the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in 2007. The President’s efforts led to a substantial increase in hotel room availability, from 1,500 to 7,500, exceeding the requirement of 4,500 rooms set by the Commonwealth.
Moreover, President Museveni assured investors of a robust market for their goods and services. Uganda, with its population of 46 million, is part of East Africa’s 300 million-strong market and the broader African market of 1.5 billion people. He also emphasized the potential for manufacturing and agro-processing, particularly in the coffee industry, where processing could yield significantly higher returns.
The President urged investors to report any public servants who solicit bribes, vowing to take action against corruption. He encouraged them to cooperate in eliminating corrupt practices.
Kaushik Manek, a board member of Four Points by Sheraton, expressed his delight at introducing their $40 million brand to Uganda and praised Kampala as a thriving business destination. He also commended President Museveni’s leadership for transforming Uganda into an attractive investment location.
The general manager of Four Points by Sheraton, Gaurrav K Magoo, affirmed the hotel’s commitment to providing world-class services that prioritize safety and quality. The 4-star hotel, located at the foot of Kololo Hill, features 142 well-appointed guest rooms, restaurants, a fitness center, and various amenities, enhancing Uganda’s hospitality industry.