Uganda is heating up as a business destination as two major international players enter the market. Add Microsoft-Dell and Uber to the long list of major corporations that are showing a display of confidence in Uganda as a business destination.
Microsoft-Dell, the giant computer software and hardware manufacturer, just announced it would soon open offices in Kampala. A team from the company’s US offices made the announcement during a recent visit in Kampala, noting that business in Uganda has been growing at 20% per year. “We are amazed at the level of computer proficiency in this country,” Dell’s regional sales director, Nazih Moufarrej, told journalists during his visit. “People are increasingly asking for high level IT solutions, which we are happy to provide.”
Microsoft-Dell will continue to sell its computers through a network of distributors throughout Uganda, the largest of which is the Service and Computer Industries Ltd., while the new Microsoft-Dell offices deal with technical issues.
The company is also launching new software and will make Windows 10 available for free to all Ugandans with qualified PCs. The upgrades, which will be available at all distributors in Uganda, will be especially important for Uganda’s growing tech industry, as it will help in building apps, an area where Ugandan tech entrepreneurs have excelled.
Another major company entering the Ugandan market is Uber Technologies Inc. In June the company launched its ride-hailing services in Kampala. A statement put out by Uber was positively glowing about the benefits of doing business in Uganda.
“The World Bank forecasts that the Ugandan economy is growing at a positive and upward trajectory. This is owing to targeting development of Uganda’s infrastructure and intensified investment in the private sector,” noted the statement. Uber’s statement also noted the positive aspects of Uganda’s tremendous youth bulge: “The World Bank also notes that Uganda is one of the world’s youngest populations, with 700,000 new people entering the workforce each year. With its people, energy, innovation, entrepreneurial and rapidly growing economy, Kampala is an exciting place for Uber to bring its services.”
The US-based company quickly expanded throughout Asia and has recently set its sights on Africa. The rapidly growing company chose Uganda as one of its first African countries, just behind Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa. The manager of Uber Africa, Alon Lits, recently told reporters in Uganda, “We are inspired by the city’s rapidly developing infrastructure and entrepreneurial spirit.” Lits says Uber “looks forward to giving people an affordable, easy and flexible choice to move around the city safely and reliably.”
The company says it has already signed up hundreds of drivers in Kampala, which not only will expand the transportation options in Kampala, but also increase employment. Uber says it has already signed up hundreds of drivers to work with them.
Uganda gets a lot of attention for its entrepreneurial spirit, and was even recently named the world’s most entrepreneurial country in the world, but these new entrants in the market aren’t start-ups. These are established, well-known global brands. Microsoft-Dell and Uber entering the Ugandan market confirms what many in Uganda already know: that the country is an increasingly attractive business destination.