Uganda: Govt Plans More Industrial Parks

To attract new and repeat investors, government plans to build more industrial parks in several regions, a ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives official has said.

"The Uganda Investment Authority has secured land to establish industrial parks in Namanve, Mbale, Soroti, Jinja and Kasese, among others, aimed at mitigating the logistical and infrastructural challenges that prohibit industrialists, small and medium enterprises growth and development. Ultimately this translates into industrial growth in Uganda," said Dr. Joshua Mutambi, a commissioner in the ministry.

Interviewed on August 23 after opening the three- day Uganda Small-Scale Industries Association (USSIA) exhibition at Lugogo show grounds, Dr Mutambi said Uganda cannot become a middle- income country without a developed industrial sector.

"That is why government's national development plan (NDP III), has an emphasis on the theme "Sustainable industrialization for inclusive growth, employment and wealth creation," he said.

"As the theme for this year 'Industrialization for job creation' goes, we cannot sideline the importance of the small-scale industries in the creation of jobs, government has endeavored to promote industrialization by providing an enabling environment by providing security, links in national, regional and international markets, building infrastructure and improving the availability of power, for instance, the ongoing construction of hydropower dams," he added.

He said that in areas where land is available government, through UIA, has developed guidelines on acquiring the space and proper management procedures within the industrial parks.

"Therefore, government is committed to the development of local content and is continuously working on dialogues whose priority is to create a conducive environment that will grow enterprises and in turn eradicate unemployment and increase household incomes; events like this one, the street market initiatives, and exhibitions all will enhance the marketing strategy," he added.

USSIA founder Joseph Kanakulya hailed UIA for contracting a company that identified 1,500 business ideas that could be adopted by small investors starting from $5 to $10,000.

"...This handbook is good for the youths to find out what they can do to earn a living," he commented. USSIA chairperson Eunice Wekesa advised members of the association to produce products that meet international standards to compete in the region.

"Government passed a budget which favoured us by increasing taxes on imported goods; so, we must produce goods that meet international standards in order to compete," she said.

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