• Jul 03, 2021 . 3 min Read
  • Anite sets targets for new investment authority boss

Mukiza (centre) receiving documents from Byensi. Left is Anite. This was during the handover at UIA offices in Kampala.
Nelson Kiva
Journalist @New Vision

The new director general of Uganda Investment Authority (UIA), Robert Mukiza, has been urged to ensure the fulfilment of President Yoweri Museveni’s target of creating more than two million jobs for Ugandans through industrialisation in the next five years.

The call was made by state minister for investment and privatisation Evelyn Anite, shortly after Mukiza assumed office from the outgoing director general, Lawrence Byensi, at the UIA offices in Kampala on Thursday, July 01.

Anite also asked Mukiza to ensure that the factories at the 2,200-acre Namanve Industrial Park grow from the current 71 to 500 over the next five years.

“Through the chairperson of the board, I am letting you know that we want 500 factories in Namanve. We are now talking about 71 so we want you to take them to 500,” Anite said.

This, according to Anite, will create more than 200,000 jobs annually for Ugandans on top of the 45,000 jobs already in place.

Anite said UIA’s leadership is key in establishing the 25 industrial parks recently passed by Cabinet to foster industrialisation agenda in pursuit of the Vision 2040.

On May 5, Cabinet approved a proposal to establish 25 industrial parks in all sub-regions in the country after a paper delivered by Anite.

The parks will be located in Moroto, Karamoja, Arua and Adjumani in West Nile, Gulu in Acholi, Lira in Lango, Soroti in Teso, Mbale in Bugisu, Jinja in Busoga, Kabale in Kigezi and Rukungiri in southwestern Uganda, Mbarara in Ankole, and Hoima in Bunyoro.

While others will be established in Mukono, Namanve, Kapeeka in Nakaseke and Mengo in Kampala.

Anite told Mukiza and his team to immediately kick off with the process of preparing budget lines for each industrial park in consultation with the respective local government authorities to, among others, acquire the land.

“I encourage Ugandans to take advantage of the incentives that we give you in the industrial sectors,” she said.

Incentives

The incentives available include a Ugandan willing to invest in an industrial park with an initial capital of more than sh180m ($50,000) being given free land, free electricity and credit facilities through the Uganda Development Bank.

Also, significant in the creation of employment opportunities, foreign investors or foreign direct investments are required to employ more than 60% of Ugandans, including in the senior management positions in exchange for tax incentives such as exceptions.

“We only allow foreign investors to bring in competencies that we do not have as a country.  And we have tied our land and tax incentives to the number of jobs an investor has created and 60% of the employees should be Ugandans. And we are not talking about lower level but jobs at directorate level,” she said.

The minister added that a Ugandan who establishes an investment of $50,000 and above, gets a 10-year tax holiday.

“This is deliberate for Ugandans to encourage them to come into the industrial sector,” Anite said.

However, all these incentives according to Anite are tied to a clear business plan by a company registered with the Uganda Registration Services Bureau with an investment license and clear directors.

“We don’t want briefcase companies,” she said.

Critical role

Mukiza acknowledged the achievements of his predecessors and the staff and noted that without that firm foundation, UIA would not be what it is today.

Mukiza pledged to ensure that UIA plays a critical role in awakening Ugandans into the modern money economy through pursuing priorities in line with national development plans.

He assured the minister that he will on accelerate the Government’s industrialisation agenda aggressively through the operationalising of industrial parks and doubling efforts in attracting investors in Uganda.

Morrison Rwakakamba, the board chairperson said Mukiza’s impressive track record in supporting various countries in the areas of investment promotion, industrial development and job creation as well as his proven senior management skills will be an asset to UIA.

Byensi was grateful for the support he received during his tenure, saying the staff, finance ministry, the board among others enabled him to stabilise the institution which was experiencing turbulence. 

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