VP Howard-Taylor Explores Investment Opportunities in Uganda -Says Africa Last Frontier for Investment

Vice President Jewel Howard Taylor is currently visiting Uganda to explore investment opportunities for Liberia. Madam Howard-Taylor was received on Monday morning at Entebbe International Airport by incoming State Minister of Trade, David Bahati.

“She is here to explore possibilities of cooperation in areas of Trade, industrialization and infrastructure development,” said Bahati.

The Minister said VP Taylor will tour Kampala Industrial and Business Park (KIBP) at Namanve – the largest industrial hub in Uganda sitting on 2600 hectares of land.

The industrial park has attracted over 400 investors for development in various sub-sectors such as agro processing, mineral processing, ICT, logistics and freight, warehousing, general manufacturing as well as tourism promotion activities.

Jewel, who is expected to meet with President Museveni at State House Entebbe, is one of few women in top political leadership positions in Africa, championing the Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) – a major boost for African economies.

“We expect a 52 per cent boost in intra-Africa trade by 2022,” she said, adding, Africa is the last frontier, with about 40 per cent of the world’s natural resources and the fastest-growing population globally which need to be leveraged to implement an industrialized revolution that can have sustained economic growth.

It can be recalled, Madam Howard-Taylor recently said Africa is “at a point where we need mutually rewarding partnerships, not just grants. It’s time for an African industrial revolution. Africa’s resources have traditionally been taken out of our countries, processed abroad, and brought back. Now, African leaders are saying that we want investors to help build industries that process our natural resources locally. It is not just to take out raw materials.”

Pundits are of the belief that the travel of the Liberian VP to Uganda to explore investment opportunities is a clear indication that the Weah government is going all out to put its best foot forward to set the country along the rightful development trajectory.

Prior to Vice President Chief Dr. Jewel Howard-Taylor’s arrival in Uganda,  she visited Malawi where she held discussions with Press Trust of Malawi, where she emphasized President Weah’s pronouncement that Liberia is open for business while signing a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding which provides the framework for economic cooperation between Liberia and Malawi.

Press Trust is Malawi’s Public body responsible to attract investors to Malawi and the main point of discussions of VP Howard Taylor with that body centered on the need to collaborate with the Liberian Government in energy, telecommunications, manufacturing and agriculture.

Press Trust is Malawi’s largest employer which mobilizes resources from the private sector to fund government projects in order to provide social services in that country.

In the exploration for more investment opportunities for Liberia, Madam Vice President also held meeting with the National Smallholder Farmers’ Association of Malawi (NASFAM), on the possibilities of partnering in the area of agriculture.

NASFAM is involved in the production of rice, tobacco, groundnut and other crops for exportation. The Vice President intimated that the technological innovation of NASFAM can be of major significance to Liberia as the Government endeavors to use agriculture in alleviating poverty.

VP Howard Taylor stressed that the African Continental Free Trade Agreement can provide the framework and opportunity for Africans to begin trading amongst themselves.

The vice president then concluded her engagement with a private visit to Her Excellency Joyce Banda, former President of Malawi.  The visit was held under a friendly atmosphere as the Vice President listened to the wise counsel of the former President.

Former President Banda urged Vice President Howard-Taylor to carry the mantle of the champion of women empowerment in Africa, with the energy and tenacity required; and continues the legacies of former President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.

Similarly, VP Howard-Taylor Paid Courtesy Call on Malawian President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera who she applauded for his “HEforShe” championing of women issues. The Liberian Vice President of the Republic of Liberia Chief Dr Jewel Howard-Taylor ended her five working day visit in Lilongwe, Malawi from June 9th to 14th, 2021.

While in Malawi, Madam Vice President paid a courtesy call on His Excellency Dr. Lazarus Chakwera, President of the Republic of Malawi. The two leaders exchanged pleasantries and affirmed renewed cooperation between Liberia and Malawi.

Vice President Howard-Taylor applauded President Chakwera for his stance on women empowerment, evident by 39% of women appointed in cabinet. She further commended President Chakwera for creating the platform for women and branded him a true “HeforShe” champion.

Still in Malawi, Madam Vice President also held talks with her counterpart Mr. Saulos Chilima, Vice President of the Republic of Malawi. The meeting centered on the possibilities of exploring investment opportunities in both countries with an agenda to identify specific areas of engagements.

Vice President Chilima acknowledged Liberia’s rich history in leading the liberation struggle which occasioned the independence of many countries on the African continent. He expressed willingness to learn from Liberia’s experience on the international stage. The two Vice Presidents were keen on collaborating in the extractive industry and how the resources of both countries can improve the livelihood of their people.

Vice President Howard-Taylor also had fruitful discussions with Rt. Hon. Catherine Gotani Hara, the first elected female Speaker of the Malawian Parliament.  The meeting focused on the need to encourage more women into politics and strategies to support women who are in Parliament.

As President of the Liberian Senate, Madam Vice President assured Speaker Hara of the establishment of a cohesive relationship between the Parliaments of both Nations and the compelling need to strive for the election of more women in Parliament.

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