Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) will use the services of the Uganda Peoples Defence Forces (UPDF) to construct 25 industrial parks across the country.
The deal, which will be implemented by the UPDF’s enterprise unit National Enterprise Corporation (NEC) – is to facilitate construction of new parks in Arua, Gulu, Lira, Buliisa, Hoima, Nakasongola, Luwero-Nakaseke, Kabarole, Mubende, Mityana, Masaka, Kabale, Bushenyi, Tororo, Rakai and Iganga.
The government also wants to erect science, technology and innovation parks in Pakwach to serve northern Uganda, Kyankwanzi (central Uganda), Kamuli (eastern Uganda) and Rubirizi (western Uganda).
According to UIA, they were already working with NEC and yesterday they formalized the arrangement, following President Museveni’s recent directive to government entities to involve the UPDF engineering brigade in infrastructure development.
UIA’s Director General Robert Mukiza inked the agreement with NEC Managing Director, Lt Gen James Mugira.
The Authority has been tasked to build 25 regionally located industrial and business parks, including four science, technology and innovation parks (STIPs).
“In its Strategic Plan 2020-2025 themed ‘Accelerating Domestic and Foreign Direct Investment for Sustainable Industrial Industrialisation’, UIA targets to create 400,000 jobs a year through industrial parks development. This is in line with Vision 2040 and the Third National Development Plan, which hinges on industrialization,” reads an official statement from the Authority.
President Museveni’s intention is to have five industrial parks constructed per year. UIA already operates eight industrial and business parks in Namanve, Bweyogerere, Luzira, Kasese, Mbarara, Jinja, Mbale, Soroti and Karamoja.
It also supports five private industrial parks in Kapeeka, Lugazi, Buikwe and Mukono. Mukiza, according to the statement, said the partnership with NEC and UPDF Engineering Brigade is aimed at fast-tracking construction of the industrial parks in all the regions.
The two government entities are now “developing a cost-effective budget and roadmap”.
“… involvement of the UPDF Engineering Brigade will reduce construction costs by 70 percent, in addition to getting value for money and timely completion of projects,” reads the official statement.
Mukiza stressed that the industrial parks will be for both domestic and foreign investors, adding that the focus will be on equitable and regional distribution of industrial parks.
Benefits of industrial parks development include employment creation, revenue generation, promote import substitution and promote exports, transfer of knowledge and skills, industrial efficiencies and enjoying economies of scale.
Others are ease of access to land for investment, introduction of new research and development, balanced regional development and equitable investment promotion.