By David Rupiny
Uganda Investment Authority (UIA), as the chief investment promotion agency of the Government of Uganda, is laser-focused on robust development of industrial and business parks in Uganda.
Specifically, this mandate falls under the ambit of the Industrial Parks Development Division (IPDD). The Division’s mandate include acquiring, developing and managing serviced land for investment through development and management of industrial and business parks, assisting investors access land for investment purposes, managing UIA-owned agricultural lands, and advising Government on national industrial land policies.
UIA establishes public industrial parks as well as supports the development of private industrial parks.
Alignment with national development objectives
Development of industrial parks speaks to the perspective Vision 2040 which seeks to achieve a “Transformed Ugandan society from a peasant to modern and prosperous country within 30 years” as well as the overall strategic goal of National Development Plan III themed “Increased Household Incomes and Improved Quality of Life”.
Industrial parks development is also in line with the objective of the Public Investment Management for Agro-Industrialization (PIMA) strategy which aims at increasing sustainable production, productivity and value addition in key growth areas by developing industrial parks strategically and equitably across the country around specific areas of production and supply chains.
UIA Strategic Plan
Based on the foregoing, UIA’s Strategic Plan 2020/21-2024/25 themed “Accelerating Domestic and Foreign Direct Investment for Accelerated Industrialization” focuses on five strategic areas, namely:
- promoting Uganda as the preferred destination for foreign direct investment;
- promoting domestic investment and innovation;
- improving domestic and international competitiveness and doing business rankings through an efficient One Stop Centre;
- accelerating Uganda’s industrialization through serviced industrial parks; and
- enhancing institutional capacity to deliver its mandate.
The key to the realization of these long-term goals is to put in place integrated industrial infrastructure and services in one location with all the required utilities.
These include land, electricity, industrial water, waste disposal and management facility, ICT infrastructure, roads and modern lighting systems, parking facilities, etc.
The industrial parks are to facilitate investors to set up manufacturing facilities for efficient and low-cost production of goods and services both for local consumption and for export.
Each industrial park is planned to sit on a minimum of 500 acres of land, with special provision for small and medium enterprises and innovators.
Operational industrial and business parks
UIA not only establishes and operates public industrial parks but also supports those undertaken by the private sector.
Currently, UIA has established and operates eight public industrial and business parks (IBPs): Kampala (Namanve), Luzira, Bweyogerere, Jinja, Soroti, Mbale, Kasese and Mbarara SME Park.
In addition, UIA has supported the establishment (and continues to support the growth) of three operational private industrial parks: Liao Shen Kapeeka, MMP Buikwe and Tian Tang Mukono.
The table below shows the number of jobs created in the public and private industrial parks.
Key benefits of industrial parks
The 11 operational industrial and business parks, with 166 operational industries, have created 42,488 direct jobs and 59,800 indirect jobs, totaling 102,288 jobs. There has been knowledge, skills and technology transfer to Ugandans. There have been innovations in the industrial parks like Quality Chemicals’ Single HIV Pill at Luzira Park, Roofings’ Rebar plant in Namanve, Plascon’s anti-malarial paint, and Orion’s GIS transformers, amongst others. There has been significant substitution of imports; many hitherto imported products like steel products, fridges, textiles, transformers, electronics, packaging products, etc. are now locally manufactured in the industrial parks.
Agricultural industrial lands
UIA has six large pieces of land legally registered in its names in various areas across Uganda. The lands are allocated to different investors to carry out commercial agricultural projects at scale.
- Kigumba in Kiryandongo District (6 square miles) – for growing of crops like sunflower, soy, beans, etc.
- Kimengo in Masindi District (20 square miles) – cereals, oil palm, grain processing.
- Lukali-Goli in Buikwe District (84 acres)
- Kaweri in Mubende District (10 square miles)
- Kasangati in Wakiso District (20 acres)
- Kashari in Mbarara District (59.6 hectares)
Note: Some of the lands have been allocated to investors and some not yet.
Presidential directive on industrial parks development
The President of Uganda, H. E. Yoweri Museveni, has directed UIA to establish 25 industrial parks, regionally and equitably distributed throughout Uganda, during the current presidential term (2021 – 2026).
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.
Development of a National Investment Land Bank
In order to successfully execute its mandate (in line with perspective development plans) and implement the Presidential directive on development of industrial parks, UIA has embarked on establishment of a National Investment Land Bank (NILB).
Under the initiative, UIA proactively engages local governments with the aim of acquiring free land that are then compounded to create the national investment land bank. The investment land bank initiative is driven at a high level and led by Investment Minister, Hon. Evelyn Anite, the UIA Board headed by Morrison Rwakakamba, and UIA Director General, Robert Mukiza.
The investment land bank initiative is also inter-ministerial and inter-agency in nature, drawing actors from key stakeholders like State House, Ministry of Trade and Industry and Ministry of Local Government, National Enterprises Corporation (NEC), the business arm of the national army – Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) and Government Citizen Interaction Centre (GCIC).
Status of National Investment Land Bank
The national investment land bank mobilization targets all four regions of Uganda. So far, the mobilization has been conducted in the two regions of Western and Northern.
The land bank so far has 4,850 acres of land from the two regions.
In western Uganda, UIA has acquired from local governments the following lands for industrial parks development:
- Kibaya land – 620 acres in Rukundo Town Council, Kisoro District, strategically bordering the Democratic Republic of Congo.
- Rushozi land – 20 acres in Kashari, Mbarara District.
- Butobere land – 40 acres in Kabale District.
- Rukungiri land – 200 acres.
In northern Uganda, the following lands have been acquired:
- Omvoru Land – 511 acres in Nyaravur-Angal Trading Centre, Nebbi District.
- Rhino Camp land – 515 acres in Rhino Camp Town Council, Madi-Okollo District.
- Yumbe land – 1,200 in Yumbe Town Council, Yumbe District.
- Corner Kamdini – 100 acres in Corner Kamdini Town Council, Oyam District.
- Oyam land – 54 acres near Oyam Town Council, Oyam District.
- Lira land – 500 acres in Lira City.
- Dokolo land – 500 acres in Dokolo Town Council, Dokolo District.
The investment land bank drive heads next to eastern and central regions of Uganda. The team heads to the districts of Butambala and Kayunga in central Uganda; Iganga, Tororo and Kween in eastern Uganda; Moroto and Napak in Karamoja; and Pader in northern Uganda.
Partnership with National Enterprises Corporation (NEC)
UIA and NEC, acting on a Cabinet position, have agreed that the UPDF Engineering Brigade (subsidiary of NEC) will build all the industrial parks. This will reduce cost by about 70 percent, ensure value for money, quality work and timely completion of the parks.
This article first appeared on Ugandainvest.go.ug