Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) has been offered1,140 acres of land for industrial parks development in central Uganda.

The national army, the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) has, through its business arm, National Enterprises Corporation (NEC), offered UIA one-square mile (640 acres) for establishment of Tarehe Sita Industrial Park in Kakooge, Nakasongola Districts. Tarehe Sita is Swahili for Sixth of February.

The land is located strategically in the heart of Uganda, astride the vital Kampala-Gulu-Juba international highway.

Speaking during a tour of the land on Tuesday, the deputy chief executive of NEC, Maj Gen Michael Oula, said they want the industrial park up and running as soon as possible, revealing that an Egyptian investor has already expressed interest in setting up an ICT industry in the park.

Butambala District is offering UIA 500 acres of land in Gombe. According to the Member of Parliament for Butambala, Muwanga-Kivumbi, also the Shadow Minister for Finance, Planning and Economic Development, the park will be for Greater Mpigi districts of Mpigi, Gomba and Butambala.

Muwanga-Kivumbi said the area is an agricultural powerhouse producing key products like coffee, milk and hides and skins for export, adding that the industrial park would enable the locals add value to the products.

The Chair of UIA Board, Morrison Rwakakamba, said with Uganda enjoying security, peace and stability, this is the time to laser-focus on economic activity for wealth creation through industrialisation.

UIA Director General, Robert Mukiza, said feasibility studies will be conducted to ensure that the industrial parks fits with economies of their locations.

UIA and UPDF officials during a tour of the land in NAkasongola

Mukiza, says the people should start preparing to snap up opportunities in the industrial parks, adding that the locals should not only embrace the parks but get involved through production and up skilling.

The two lands in Nakasongola and Butambala districts bring to 5,790 the total acreage of land offered by local governments for industrial parks development: Central Region 1,140 acres, Western 1,270 acres and Northern 3,380 acres. Mobilisation activities start in Eastern Region soon.

UIA, as the chief investment promotion agency of the Government of Uganda, has been directed by the President to establish 25 industrial parks, regionally and equitably distributed throughout Uganda, in the next five years (current presidential term).

The industrial parks are supposed to have a minimum of 500 acres of land.

The President also directed local governments to provide free land for industrial parks development, saying Government, through UIA, will no longer buy land for industrial parks.

To implement the Presidential directive, UIA has planned to establish five industrial parks each year, totaling 25 in 2025.

To effect that, UIA has embarked on a nationwide land mobilisation, to feed into the Investment Land Bank. So far, the mobilization drive has been conducted in Western, Northern and Central regions.

Land in the land bank will be used to establish the 25 industrial parks, as well as support private industrial parks development.

Investment Minister, Hon. Evelyn Anite, says UIA will ensure building of key infrastructure like access roads, industrial power and water, ICT systems, drainage systems, waste management systems, etc. The Minister Anite encourages investors, both domestic and foreign, to invest in the regional industrial parks.

UIA and National Enterprises Corporation (NEC), acting on a Cabinet position, have agreed that the UPDF Engineering Brigade builds the industrial parks. This will reduce cost by about 70 percent, ensuring value for money, quality and timely completion of the parks.

UIA will allocate at least 20 acres in each industrial park for SMEs to ensure local-local content.

Through industrialisation there would be increased production of hitherto imported goods hence import substitution and preservation of foreign exchange, boost in exports, creation of jobs and wealth.

Industrialisation would also be increase in government revenues, boost in aggregate demand which translates into more money in circulation, heightened economic activity, economic growth, economic development and transformation of Uganda.

Other benefits of industrialisation include transfer of technology, knowledge and skills would translate into local innovation, entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship, and new domestic investors as those employed in industries take off on their own.

An industrialised Uganda would translate into balanced socioeconomic transformation of Uganda, and scaling up to middle income status, higher income status, etc.