Lt Gen James Mugira (third right) and Robert Mukiza (second right) after the partnership meeting.
Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) is partnering with the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) in the construction of 25 industrial parks across Uganda.
The partnership which is already ongoing, was Thursday formally announced 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.
President Yoweri Museveni on June 28, 2021, during the inaugural cabinet meeting of the current presidential term, directed that Government should construct five industrial parks per year, rounding the end of the presidential term with 25 industrial parks.
The President also directed that the UPDF be 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.
UIA Director General, Robert 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. 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 promote 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.