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The East African Community could get long-term funding options

Wednesday May 25, 2011

Ugandan businesses, especially in agriculture, that want to spread across the East African Community (EAC) have another chance to access information on long-term business funding.

The Norwegian Investment Fund for Developing Countries (NORFUND) and Fanisi Venture, which offer risk capital financing, ranging from $0.5m to $15m per project, will host businesses at a luncheon at the Kampala Serena Hotel on June 1.

“Our involvement will not be more than 35% of total capital needed or of the balance sheet. We will also play an active role in partnering with our clients to develop the business potential,” the two agencies said in a statement.

Financial institutions in Uganda, especially banks, have been criticised for their low interest in financing long-term ventures that would add value to the country.

Now the idea of venture capital is quickly being discussed as viable options for long-term risk financing in the country’s promising economy.

Businessman and Uganda Investment Authority chairman Patrick Bitature will make the keynote address at the luncheon.

Other sectors up for possible funding include IT, tourism, industrial, financial and energy. “We will select projects with high developmental impact and where Norfund or Fanisi can add value,” said the statement.

The groups also said technical assistance could be considered for post-investment period to part-finance necessary development of internal systems, social, environmental and governance issues and training.

By David Mugabe: The New Vision Newspaper

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