By Fred Kiva
President Yoweri Museveni has commended the Chinese for their role in promoting industrialization and investment in Uganda.
Speaking during a visit to the Chinese Liao-Shen Industrial Park in Kapeeka Town Board, Nakaseke District on Tuesday, the President said the Chinese have invested a lot in the country saying this has come with enormous benefits such as increased exports and job creation.
“Uganda exports more to Kenya, than we import from them,” the President said, revealing that Uganda currently exports more goods to Kenya valued at about 700million Dollars, while Uganda imports from Kenya goods worth slightly above 500million Dollars.
The President said the Chinese good working relations with Africa dates back from the colonial days.
“Chinese people have been working with us since the anti-colonial struggle,” he said explaining that even when China was still under-developed, they extended solidarity to Africa as evidenced by the construction of the Tanzania-Zambia Railway (TAZARA) to open up Zambia and link the Southern Africa Regional transport to Eastern Africa’s Seaport of Dar-es Salaam.
The President’s praises for china perhaps explain why currently the Chinese have won tenders to undertake key government projects such as the Entebbe Express Highway construction and Kigumba-Kyenjojo road upgrading among others.
The President was taken on a guided tour of the Industrial Park currently comprising of Goodwill Ceramics Uganda Ltd (a tiles making factory), Ho and Mu Food Technology (a fruit processing factory) and Yahe Investments Ltd (a maize milling factory).
The President pledged government’s support to the industrial park through extension of a 132KV power line for adequate power supply and availing an Industrial water supply system.
Amooti Isingoma, the Liao Shen Industrial Park General Manager commended government efforts to support the Industrial Park. “We are really grateful, the 132KV Power line will provide us enough power supply for the meantime,” he said in an interview, revealing however that in the near future, the industrial park will need 200KV power when all the 10 Industries planned in the area are fully operational.
The 600million Dollar (about 2.16trillion shillings) Liao-Shen Industrial Park is owned by the Chinese Zhang’s Group and sits on a 60 acre piece of land in Kapeeka.
The President was flunked by Ambassadors from China and Egypt, Ministers Esther Mbayo for Presidency, Evelyn Anite for Investment, Eng Simon D’ujang for Energy and the Liao Shen Industrial Park Chairman and Operation Wealth Creation(OWC) Chief Coordinator Gen Salim Saleh among others.