Govt banks on industrial parks to drive balanced and equitable development

For the whole of September 2021, managers and board members of the Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) led by Investment Minister, Evelyn Anite, were traversing different districts across the country.

The team, who included UIA director general Robert Mukiza, and Board Chairman Morrison Rwakakamba, were on a mission of securing land for setting up industrial parks across the country.

This follows a Presidential directive to establish 25 industrial parks evenly across the country.

In Northern Uganda, UIA secured a total of 3,200 acres of land across several districts.

The team from UIA, secured 511 acres of land from Nebbi District, Madi-Okollo area (515), Yumbe (1,200), Oyam (200), Pader (500), and Lira (300).

Mbarara District also handed over 50 acres of land to the government for industrial parks while Kisoro District Local Government handed over 620 acres.

Many more districts will soon surrender more land to UIA.

According to Minister Anite, Cabinet approved a proposal to set up 10 industrial parks in 20 zonal areas across the country, with the aim of providing job opportunities to over 250,000 people.

Ms Anite says the government is prioritizing the development of industrial parks as a means to balanced and equitable development of Uganda.

“As government, we want to reduce the number of people flocking urban areas seeking job opportunities,” she says.

Anite says industrialization would translate into much the needed jobs, especially for young people creation, value addition to local raw materials, increased government revenues and sustainable economic development.

She adds that in establishing the industrial parks, UIA ensures that critical infrastructure like roads, industrial power and water, ICT and waste management facilities are in place to ease set up of investment projects.

The minister says the construction of the industrial parks is to be carried out by the Uganda People’s Defense Forces Engineering Brigade, with support from other local contractors.

 She also encouraged Ugandans to venture into industrial production, including cottage industries, because the return on investment is quick and high.

Anite also appeals to district leaders to mobilise the population to work in the industrial parks, adding that factories need both skilled and unskilled workers.

The chair of the UIA board, Morrison Rwakakamba, says the biggest beneficiaries of government’s industrialization programme are supposed to be domestic investors and the local population.

UIA Director General Robert Mukiza, applauds the district leaders for offering land for industrial parks development, adding that they should ensure the lands have no encumbrances.

 Mukiza says UIA will continue to push government’s industrialization agenda to the letter by creating a conducive and enabling environment as well as support.

The UIA director general said the agency is quickly going to do feasibility studies for industries to be set up in the different areas and fast track infrastructural amenities.

“We’ll immediately get to work to determine the industries to be set up here and also the required infrastructure,” Mukiza says.

 

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