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Wednesday August 24, 2011
The fate of several Libyan investments in Uganda is still unknown after rebels fighting to topple Muammar Gaddafi’s four decade rule swept into Tripoli yesterday.
Libya’s investment arm, the Libyan Arab Foreign Investment Company (LAFICO) acquired several business interests in Uganda under the Gadafii administration.
The Libyan Africa Investment Portfolio has invested $375m (about sh900b) into Uganda’s agriculture, hotel, health, infrastructure, construction, food and finance sectors.
Most prominent of the businesses include the National Housing Corporation, uganda telecom, Soluble Coffee Plant, Tropical Bank, House of Dawda, Uganda Pharmaceuticals, Lake Victoria Hotel Entebbe and Tamoil.
Libya owns 99.69% of Tropical Bank formerly known as the Libya Arab Foreign Bank.
However, when the UN slammed sanctions on Libya in February, the Bank of Uganda took over the operations of Tropical Bank in accordance with the sanctions.
The Libyans also own 49% in National Housing and Construction Corporation, with shares worth $21.1m in developing the housing projects at Lubowa housing estate on Entebbe Road and Naalya housing estate.
In 2007, Libya sealed a partnership with the Uganda Coffee Development Authority to construct an $11m Soluble Coffee Plant to add value to local coffee. In March 2009, the Government gave the Jinja national oil reserve to Tamoil.
Tamoil was supposed to construct the Kampala Oil Products Terminal and the $250m Eldoret-Kampala oil pipeline. Libya Africa Portfolio’s Green Com in March 2007 acquired a 51% in uganda telecom.
Uganda is a member of the African Union ad hoc committee mediating a resolution of the Libyan conflict after the UN authorised NATO air strikes to protect civilians from forces loyal to Gaddafi.
However, over the weekend, the rebels fighting to overthrow Gadaffi in a popular uprising had entered Tripoli.
Two of Gadaffi’s sons Mohammed Al-Gaddafi and Seif al-Islam were captured.
Gadaffi has also suffered many defections on ministers, military commanders and envoys.
By Siki Kigongo and Henry Mukasa: The New Vision Newspaper
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