Minister Persis Namuganza interacts with one of the exhibitors flanked by the Indian High Commissioner to Uganda, A. Ajay Kumar. Photo by Joseph Bahingwire
Joseph Bahingwire
Journalist @New Vision

Construction sector players have been asked to innovate solutions that will control environmental degradation and foster sustainable development.

The call was made by Persis Namuganza, the Minister of State for Housing, while officiating at the opening of the Uganda Buildcon Expo at the UMA Show Grounds in Kampala on Thursday.

The three-day Buildcon Expo is aimed at showcasing innovations in the construction sector focusing on construction and building materials, heavy equipment, machinery, tools, engineering, architecture, interior designs, and commercial vehicles, from within Uganda and other countries.

It will also provide a platform for networking, investment, and the exchange of ideas and information.

Namugaza asked the players in the building and construction industry to adopt innovative technologies that are environmentally friendly and collaborative approaches as they move to help the population acquire decent but affordable housing units.

Uganda has witnessed an impressive real estate boom that has changed the region’s skylines, transforming its landscape.

Uganda is expected to register a compound annual growth of 6.4%, the construction industry contributes over 12% of gross domestic product (GDP) and has witnessed steady growth for the last few years and despite the recent upsurge in inflation, the sector has remained on a steady path of growth and development.

“Investors should take advantage of the housing units’ deficit that the country is having that stands at 2.4 million units and provide decent accommodation because it is key for social economic development,” she said.

Dr Paul Kyarimpa the deputy executive director of Uganda Investments Authority said the high cost of construction has hindered the construction sector leading to the high housing units' deficit in the country.

He called upon the investors to be innovative so as to be able to provide organized urbanization that is environmentally friendly.

“As the government, we are inviting entrepreneurs who are ready to invest in housing construction, housing financing, construction services and housing materials that will enable the availability of low-cost housing units,” Kyarimpa said.

He pledged government support to investors to enable them to access low-cost financing, free access to the industrial parks and information from the government's one-stop information centre.

He further pledged a ten-year tax exemption to all investors who will invest in the industrial parks and those adding value to the local agricultural products.

The trade fair is supported by the Uganda National Association of Building and Civil Engineering Contractors (UNABCEC), the Ministry of Land, Housing and Urban Development and the Uganda Manufacturers Association.

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