By Simon Abaho.
Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) on Thursday announced a partnership with the Uganda Peoples’ Defence Force (UPDF) for the construction of 25 industrial parks across Uganda.
The partnership, which is already ongoing, was announced in a meeting between UIA’s Director General, Robert Mukiza, and Lt Gen James Mugira, Managing Director of National Enterprises Corporation (NEC), the business arm of UPDF.
The partnership comes on the backdrop of President Yoweri Museveni’s directive to the government to construct five industrial parks per year which would round up his presidential term with 25 industrial parks.
During the president’s inaugural cabinet meeting on 28th June 2021, Museveni directed that UPDF be the infrastructure development partner.
In Yesterdays meeting, UIA’s Director Robert Mukiza said the collaboration with NEC and UPDF Engineering Brigade is aimed at fast-tracking construction of the industrial parks in all the regions.
UIA already operates eight industrial and business parks in Namanve, Bweyogerere, Luzira, Kasese, Mbarara, Jinja, Mbale, Soroti and Karamoja. It also supports five private industrial parks in Kapeeka, Lugazi, Buikwe and Mukono.
The new industrial and business parks are planned for Arua, Gulu, Lira, Buliisa, Hoima, Nakasongola, Luwero-Nakaseke, Kabarole, Mubende, Mityana, Masaka, Kabale, Bushenyi, Tororo, Rakai and Iganga.
The science, technology and innovation parks are planned for Pakwach in northern Uganda, Kyankwanzi for central Uganda, Kamuli for eastern Uganda and Rubirizi for western Uganda.
To make the works easier, UIA, with NEC and the UPDF Engineering Brigade, are developing a cost-effective budget and according to Mukiza, involvement of both parties will reduce construction costs by 70 percent.
He added that the partnership will go a long way in getting value for money and timely completion of projects.
Mukiza stressed that the industrial parks will be for both domestic and foreign investors, adding that focus will be on the equitable and regional distribution of industrial parks.
“Benefits of industrial parks development include employment creation, revenue generation, promote import substitution and promote exports, transfer of knowledge and skills, industrial efficiencies and enjoying economies of scale.”
Others are ease of access to land for investment, the introduction of new research and development, balanced regional development and equitable investment promotion