Business

UIA, UPDF to jointly construct industrial and business parks

Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) in partnership with the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) is to construct 25 industrial parks across Uganda as government continues with its journey of Buy Uganda Build Uganda (BUU) Policy aimed at boosting local production, which is key in growing the gross domestic product (GDP).

The partnership which is already ongoing, was announced days ago in a meeting between UIA’s Director General Robert Mukiza and the Managing Director of National Enterprise Corporation (NEC), Lt Gen James Mugira. NEC is the business arm of the UPDF.

UIA, the primary investment promotion agency of the Government of Uganda, is mandated to build 25 regionally located industrial and business parks, including four science, technology and innovation parks (STIPs).

In its Strategic Plan 2020-2025 themed “Accelerating Domestic and Foreign Direct Investment for Sustainable Industrial Industrialisation”, UIA targets to create 400,000 jobs a year through industrial parks development. This is in line with Vision 2040 and the Third National Development Plan, which hinges on industrialisation.

The new cabinet approved the construction of 25 industrial parks, five per year, with the the UPDF being the infrastructure development partner.

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 for northern Uganda, Kyankwanzi for central Uganda, Kamuli for eastern Uganda and Rubirizi for western Uganda.

Mukiza, said the partnership with NEC and UPDF Engineering Brigade is aimed at fast-tracking construction of the industrial parks in all the regions.

To smooth the process, UIA, with NEC and the UPDF Engineering Brigade, are developing a cost-effective budget and roadmap. And according to Mukiza, involvement of the UPDF Engineering Brigade will reduce construction costs by 70 percent, in addition to 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 equitable and regional distribution of industrial parks.

Benefits of industrial parks development include employment creation, revenue generation, promote import substitution and exports, transfer of knowledge and skills, industrial efficiencies and enjoying economies of scale.

Others are ease of access to land for investment, introduction of new research and development, balanced regional development and equitable investment promotion.

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