Kampala — Government has earmarked Nakigalala area along the Kampala-Entebbe Expressway for the establishment of a satellite city with an aim of decongesting the capital, Kampala.
A satellite city is a concept in urban planning that refers essentially to smaller metropolitan areas which are located somewhat near to, but are mostly independent of larger metropolitan areas.
The State Minister for Urban Development, Mr Isaac Musumba told journalists at Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala yesterday that Nakigalala will be the first ultra-modern city in Uganda with three more to follow.
"In this Satellite city development plan, the government's role is to identify the land and invite experts to work on the physical development master plan to allow for the construction of the buildings," Mr Musumba said.
The Minister said that the government has invited a team of consultants seconded by the Malaysian government to plan for the satellite city adding that the actual development of the 1200 hectare land will done by the private sector.
"The government identified the land and talked to the owner who is willing to sell to those investors who want to construct houses that are fitting the plan that will be handed to government by the consultant engineers. The government will not have to spend any money on land since the city will be built by private developers," Mr Musumba said.
The satellite city's master plan and design process being worked on by consultants from Malaysian Incorporated Services Berhad will consume a tune of USD 2m (approximately Shs7.2b). The money is a grant from the Malaysian government.
While opening a day's interactive workshop between the Malaysian consultants and selected local technocrats, Mr Musumba warned that government will not accept Nakigalala to be a "Chinese city" by allowing only investors from the Asian countries to build houses on the expense of local investors.
Ms Norliza Hashim, the Director of Malaysian Incorporated Services Berhad who heads the consultancy team, said that the government of Uganda approached its Malaysian counterpart to assist in designing the master plan for the Satellite city of Nakigalala
"The government of Uganda sent officials to Malaysia and we signed a memorandum of understanding in December last year and we are supposed to do the work in six months before the Master Plan is approved by cabinet in one year's time," Ms Hashim said.
She said that Malaysia managed to construct different Satellite cities to relieve the capital Kuala Lampur of congestion and informal settlements because there were consistent policies towards implementing the Vision 2020 which came into force in 1991.
About Uganda's potential to pull off the project, Ms Hashim said what is needed is to have a legal framework in place and ensure that it is being followed to implement the project.
She also said that Uganda's Vision 2040 "gives hope for Uganda" because it has strong plans that if implemented, the country will be moving in the same direction that Malaysia took to become a developed country in 30 years.