London-based equity firm to invest in cold chain solutions in Uganda

By David Rupiny

A London-based private equity firm, ARCH Emerging Markets Partners Limited, intends to invest upwards of 30 million dollars in end-to-end cold chain (storage and transportation) value chain in Uganda.

The firm plans to build and operate temperature-controlled warehouses and logistics facilities in Uganda with financing from South Africa’s state-owned Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), a self-financing development finance institution. The cold chain ecosystem would be linked to similar facilities across the East African Community.  

L-R: Jared Irving, ARCH’s Managing Director for Africa, Sheila Karungi Mugyenzi, UIA’s Director for Investment Promotion and Development, and Tony Kuna, IDC’s Project Development Manager. (Cr. David Rupiny)

An ARCH-IDC delegation led by Jared Irving, ARCH’s Managing Director for Africa, and Tony Kuna, IDC’s Project Development Manager, have today held a roundtable discussion with officials from Uganda Investment Authority (UIA), Uganda National Oil Company (UNOC), Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) and Uganda Agribusiness Alliance. The meeting took place at the UIA headquarters in Kampala.

According to Irving, the cold storage facilities would be in the range of 5,000 to 15,000 square metres targeting products like beef, poultry, seafood, dairy, vegetables, flowers, other agricultural products, oil products and pharmaceuticals, amongst others.

The cold chain facilities would be located at, amongst other locations, the Kampala Industrial and Business Park in Namanve and Kabaale Industrial Park in Kikuube District targeting the Lake Albert Basin.

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Irving said the investment will provide a unique opportunity to generate returns through businesses that will have a powerful positive impact on farmers and agricultural producers by raising income levels and living standards in addition to boosting food security in East Africa.

According to their research, the East African market suffers from significant food losses of 40 percent on average and up to 60 percent in certain product categories. It is estimated that up to 94 percent of these losses are as a result of a lack of or inadequate cold chain solutions, namely storage and logistics.

UIA’s Director for Investment Promotion and Development, Sheila Karungi Mugyenzi, briefed the delegation on Uganda’s investment environment, highlighting the role of UIA, the state of industrial parks development, operations of the One Stop Centre for Investors and the incentives regime, amongst others.

About the investors:

ARCH Emerging Markets Partners Limited is a London-based emerging markets private equity advisory firm focused on private market sectors across Africa with an identified interest across cold chain solutions, renewable energy and private equity.

The Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) is a state-owned, self-financing development finance institution. Established in 1940 and operating in both Africa and South Africa, its primary objective is to contribute to the generation of balanced, sustainable economic growth in Africa and to the economic empowerment of the South African population. The IDC operates in a broad spectrum of industries and with some specialized knowledge and experience; it is able to offer valid and appropriate financial assistance to a wide variety of individuals and companies.

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