NAIROBI, Kenya- A high powered Ugandan Government delegation led by Youth Minister Nakiwala Kiyingi is in Kenya to hold talks with SportPesa as it opens her doors for the entry of Africa leading sports gaming firm in the country.
The Ugandan Government has been in dialogue with SportPesa with the hope that the firm will set up office in Kampala coming hot on the heels of the successful launch of their Tanzanian market, SportPesa TZ two months ago.
The talks have been further spiced up after it was revealed that President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni’s administration was willing to make concessions to SportPesa to smoothen its entry to the Pearl of Africa.
Nakiwala Kiyingi, Uganda Youth Minister (left) SportPesa CEO, Cpt. Ronald Karauri (centre) and Joshua-Baguma, UNAYDA Youth Sports Ambassador during the Ugandan Government delegation courtesy call to SportPesa Nairobi Headquarters.
SportPesa is currently fighting a new law in Kenya that will see it pay 35 per cent of their revenue as tax, unlike in Uganda where their proposed law has a similar levies but on profits.
The Ugandan delegation held a closed-door meeting with SportPesa CEO, Cpt. Ronald Karauri at the firm’s headquarters in Nairobi.
Karauri expressed their excitement by the commitment the Ugandan Government has shown in their product and most importantly sports development at the youth level.
“We are committed to supporting the development of sports in Uganda, just as we have done in Kenya and Tanzania both on and off the pitch.
“We have the will to offer advice and mentoring support across a range of business areas to include; stadium operations, marketing, media and business management,” the SportPesa chief executive underscored.
Karauri added that the Ugandan delegation had also offered them an opportunity to help President Museveni’s administration regulate the sector.
SportPesa CEO, Cpt. Ronald Karauri conducts Uganda Youth Minister, Nakiwala Kiyingi around the offices of SportPesa in Nairobi during the Uganda Government delegation’s visit on July 20, 2017.
“Just like the teething problems we have in Kenya, Uganda also has an influx of illegal gaming players.
“We are more than ready to help the Ugandan Government streamline the sector, now that they have officially invited us for a series of meetings in Kampala,” Ronald declared.
On her part, Minister Nakiwala announced they were in the country with the full blessing of President Museveni.
Their brief was also to start dialogue between SportPesa and the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) to include the neighbouring country’s teams participate in the annual SportPesa Super Cup and invest in Ugandan Premier League besides setting up shop.
“Our government is looking at SportPesa as a serious investor and not really a business person. So we want them to come down to Uganda and together we look at the regulation further,” she added.
Kiyingi stressed President Museveni was keen to attract investors who were keen to open up opportunities for the youth.
“We are going to look at SportPesa in isolation because it is coming with a heavy weight of promoting football; investing in academies, investing in young people, giving them employment. It is beyond gaming.
“So we are looking at the other side of investment and then we shall make sure that we down and dialogue,” explained Kiyingi.
The Youth Minister underscored if SportPesa put the same investment in football like in Kenya and Tanzania, then Ugandan football would grow in leaps and bounds because what her country lacks is adequate sponsorship in sports.
“The talent is there, the morale is there, the demand is overwhelming but what is missing is the capital injection in football in general and branding,” Kiyingi emphasised.
L-R; Desire Kakande, Logistics and Sponsorship at UNAYDA, Joshua-Baguma, UNAYDA Youth Sports Ambassador, Nakiwala Kiyingi, Uganda Youth Minister, Cpt. Ronald Karauri, SportPesa CEO and Charles Muyimba, Executive Director UNAYDA during the Uganda Government delegation’s visit to SportPesa Headquarters in Nairobi
She was accompanied by Charles Muyimba, Executive Director of Uganda North American Youth Development Association, Joshua Baguma who is a Youth Sports Ambassador and Desire Kakande.