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Improved infrastructure attracting more factories at Namanve Industrial Park

Namanve Industrial and Business Park in Mukono District. PHOTO URN

Mukono, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The government has recorded a surge in the number of industries following key infrastructure improvements at the Namanve Industrial and Business Park in Mukono District.

The government has been implementing key infrastructure developments at Namanve through contractor-facilitated financing arrangements. They include tarmacking over 44 kilometres of road networks, bridges, traffic management systems, solar lighting, water, and power distribution systems.

Before 2016, the Park had only 22 factories, a slow progress attributed to the complex geographical topography of the area.  The area now has 258 operational factories and a total of 500 is expected by the end of 2025, according to State Minister for Investment Evelyn Anite.

The Ministry of Finance signed a memorandum of understanding – MoU with United Kingdom-based contractor, Lagan Group Ltd to develop other infrastructure such as a fibreoptic grid, and a close circuit television network among others.

Robert Mukiza, the Executive Director of Uganda Investment Authority says there is an ongoing process to procure 20 acres of land to construct more workspaces for small and medium enterprises – SMEs, a sewerage network, and a waste treatment system including for solid waste.

However, Finance Minister Matia Kasaija who toured the facility to ascertain its progress warned the Uganda Investment Authority against procuring the land without clearance from the National Environment Management Authority – NEMA to avoid likely court battles from the neighbouring community.

Martin Ssentongo, who operates a seed production storage facility at Namanve told URN that the delayed completion of the industrial park is affecting the smooth transport system in the area as roads are often clogged with water and dust. Equally, Paul Kato, a worker at the medical gloves production plant says power outages are still rampant and affecting operations.

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In 2019, the Government acquired a trillion Shillings loan from the UK Government to finance the development of the Namanve Industrial Park.

According to Anite, the project which was expected to be completed in 2023 was delayed due to the incompetence of the Owner’s Engineer, a consortium of three firms namely Roughton International Ltd., Turner and Townsend International Ltd., Joadah Consult Ltd., and Basic Group Ltd. The firm’s contract has since been terminated by the Government.

The ongoing Namanve Project construction phase employs at least 25,000 Ugandans and non-Ugandans, a further 39,800 in the short term, and will employ over 200,000 people once the industrial park is fully operational. In addition to the jobs, the industrial park is expected to contribute to Uganda’s import substitution and boost exports.

The Namanve Industrial Park, a 735 billion Shillings investment is among 25 Industrial & Business Parks being developed by the Uganda Investment Authority around the Country to create more jobs, ease accessibility of land for investments, introduce new research, technologies, and skills development as well as increase Uganda’s revenue base. The completion of these industrial parks will add value to locally available raw materials thus boosting the agricultural and mineral sectors.

Sitting on 2,209 acres, about 8.9 sq miles of land along the Kampala-Jinja highway, Namanve Industrial Park, also known as the Kampala Industrial and Business Park (KIBP) is the largest industrial park in the country established in 1991.

The flagship industrial park was created by an Act of Parliament in 1997 and is being operated by the UIA, the country’s primary investment promotion agency and provider of one-stop services for both domestic and foreign investors.

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