KAMPALA — As corporate interests and large investors have targeted the mushrooming marijuana industry in East Africa, leading American Automotive Entrepreneur, Ashworth Barnes of 713 Motoring Company based in Texas has arrived in Uganda to participate in the leafy economic boom.
Speaking to reporters in Kampala, the businessman who is in the country courtesy of East African Partners (EAP) a company that promotes and markets the region as a viable investment destination
noted that for the time he has been in Uganda, he has discovered that the country has got enormous investment opportunities with a good environment that favors growth of any business.
“I want to appreciate President Museveni for creating an enabling environment, the country has got a good road network which helps any business to thrive,” Ashworth said.
On his investment journey in Uganda, he noted that he has found Ugandan soils so good and he will be setting up a Marijuana plantation farm to support medical cannabis.
“The opportunities here are endless so I don’t want to put a figure on how much I will be investing but I will start by acquiring 15 acres of land so as to set up some apartment buildings, affordable housing for Ugandans and agricultural land to cultivate marijuana because the soil is very fertile here,” Ashworth said, noting that “the people in America are looking for those types of soils so that they can grow those types of crop and in Uganda, the land is prime.”
The country has developed and approved the bloc’s first framework for cannabis export, and is now reviewing bids from interested investors.
The American investor will be joining other companies that have already been authorized to grow the crop in Uganda.
Ashworth added that since his expertise is in custom automotive, he will as well set up an automotive company and an academy to train, skill and employ more Ugandan youth.
“Automotive is my expertise, I would want to start with automotive and some commercial real estate and we shall go ahead to explore other business opportunities. The company to be set up in Uganda will be called AB International but this shall stretch to other countries in the region like Kenya, Tannzania and Rwanda as well but Uganda shall be the launch pad,” Ashworth said.
He revealed that AB International Investments Company will be used as a hub to encourage other investors in America mainly from Texas to also fall suit and invest with him as a block.
“I came for real estate development but as I was exploring the country, I found so many ideas that I can share with my fellow Americans to bring them back here so that they can experience as well to collectively come up with so many investment ventures,” Ashworth added.
He observed that the company shall not only be importing goods from America but will look at the goods that he can export from Uganda to America.
Isaac Kigozi, the Managing Director of East African Partners (EAP) said that with setting up of AB International company, Uganda shall enjoy economic dividends since more investors shall be encouraged to join.
Kigozi assured him of any support from all relevant government entities as well as the private sector to ensure that the company is set up which will in turn boost Uganda’s economy.