The park will help create an estimated 30,000 jobs for the youth.
Uganda investment authority (UIA) has secured 78.2 hectares of land for the development of Oraba Industrial Park in Koboko district.
The investment body said the strategic location of the park is suitable for investors targeting export to Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan and Central African Republic.
Presiding over the breaking of the ground function recently, state minister for finance in charge of investment Evelyn Anite said the strategic location of the park enables the district to promote cross border business.
“There is a lot of demand for manufactured goods across the border in South Sudan, DRC and Central African Republic such as beverages, hardware and general merchandise, pharmaceuticals and clothing. Most of these goods are transported from Kampala and other parts of the region making it expensive,” Anite noted.
She also pointed out that currently Koboko was still lagging since there is just a small cottage of industries of carpentry, welding, grinding and rice hurling.
The minister handed over the land title to UIA Board Chairman, Dr. Emely Kugonza. Present was the Koboko district chairman Hassan Nginya.
“Before the war in South Sudan, Koboko town and Oraba border point were a beehive of activities where traders from all over the region were travelling in and out of Koboko to do business in either South Sudan or DRC and this lost glory is to be restored with this new industrial park,” she said.
Kugonza said if UIA attracted ten industries and each one of them employs over 1000 youths, the park would create 10,000 direct jobs and 2,000 indirect jobs.
The park will help create an estimated 30,000 jobs for the youth. There are over 53,900 youths in the district between the ages of 18-30.
This is in line with the UIA’s 2016-2021 strategic plan of creating one million jobs for Ugandans.
The UIA licensed 286 new projects over the last year with the potential to create 59940 jobs, the recent authority’s 2018/19 performance report showed.
Minister Evelyn Anite added that the park was at the corner of Uganda where three countries of Uganda, DRC and South Sudan meet which is of an advantage to the district.
Koboko district is 154km from Kampala, three kilometers from DR Congo border and 17km from Uganda’s border with South Sudan.
Commenting on the same issue, the chairperson LC5 Koboko, Hassan Nginya said Oraba town was a gateway to local and regional markets.
“The district identified this land because of its strategic location; it covers Nyoke and Oraba parishes in three villages of Ropoli, Kakanya, Drabara and Lokajo,” Nginya said.
Nginya added that the district already had the land title, which is in the names of Koboko district local government.