BY ALEX BALUKU
Baluku is a distinguished Fellow of the Dag Hammarskjöld Fund for Journalists, currently reporting from the United States of America on the 78th UN General Assembly. With a keen eye for global affairs and a commitment to delivering insightful coverage of UN activities, Baluku brings a unique perspective to the world of international journalism.
The United States Government has issued a stark Business Advisory on Uganda, cautioning American businesses, individuals, and entities about potential risks associated with conducting or contemplating business operations in the East African nation. This advisory was jointly released by the Departments of State, Labor, Health and Human Services, Commerce, and the U.S. Agency for International Development.
The advisory underscores several key areas of concern that could impact U.S. interests and individuals operating in Uganda. It notably highlights the endemic issue of corruption, as outlined in the 2023 Investment Climate Statement. This corruption is stated to pose significant financial and reputational risks for those engaged in business activities within the country.
Moreover, the advisory points out grave human rights concerns in Uganda, as reported in the 2022 Country Report on Human Rights Practices. It draws attention to acts of violence against human rights activists, members of the media, healthcare workers, minority groups, LGBTQI+ individuals, and political opponents.
According to the advisory which was jointly released by the Departments of State, Labor, Health and Human Services, Commerce, and the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Violence and intimidation have raised serious alarms, affecting not only the safety of individuals but also the broader human rights situation in Uganda.
One significant development exacerbating these concerns is the recent enactment of the Anti-Homosexuality Act (AHA) on May 29, 2023. The AHA introduces further restrictions on human rights, including limitations on freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly. These restrictive measures heighten apprehensions surrounding lease agreements and employment contracts, potentially impacting the stability of business operations in Uganda.
The issuance of this Business Advisory serves as a critical warning to U.S. businesses, organizations, and individuals contemplating engagement with Uganda. It highlights the importance of due diligence and risk assessment for those involved in commerce, investment, or any activities within the country.
The U.S. Government’s advisory reflects growing international concern about the business and human rights climate in Uganda and calls for prudence when dealing with the nation.
This advisory is expected to guide American interests in making informed decisions regarding their engagement with Uganda, weighing the potential risks against the benefits of conducting business in this East African nation.