President Museveni commissions seven factories in Namanve park
The new factories, which were launched on Saturday, will be producing beer, sanitizers, agricultural products, building ...
President Yoweri Museveni has launched seven new factories in Kampala Business and Industrial Park in Namanve.
This brings the number of factories in the industrial park, located on 2,200 acres, to 103, according to the Uganda Investment Authority.
The new factories, which were launched on Saturday, will be producing beer, sanitizers, agricultural products, building materials, diapers and sanitary pads, refrigerators, water dispensers, radio sets and mobile phones. Others produce gumboots and tarpaulins.
The plants are Yuti Breweries, Afford Agencies, Hygeia International, Ice Cool Industries, Orion Electronics, RIDA International and UIELA.
The combined investment of the factories is said to be $12m and expected to employ 2,000 skilled and semi-skilled people at full production capacity.
Museveni said Uganda's purchasing power is expanding, and that should be an incentive for investment, according to a statement from State House.
"Uganda's purchasing power is now $110b and it is growing," he stated, "There is a market in Uganda for all these products being made here, such as fridges, radios, TVs and health products."
Museveni added that the owners of the new factories first imported similar products into Uganda and later realised that there was a big market in the country for the same. This, he stated, served as an incentive for the investors to set up plants in Uganda to manufacture the same products.
"They have discovered it is better to produce the products here. They know how to smell profits and money," the President said.
Aside from the Ugandan market, Museveni noted that the investors also have access to the regional East African Community and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), as well as the US, European and Chinese markets.
"We have an agreement to export 6,600 products to the US at zero tax and tariff-free. The US market is reliable because of the global politics. There are also the European and the Chinese markets," he added.
With the transport network across the country improving and Uganda working with Kenya and Tanzania to build a railway line, Museveni noted that movement of foods through the East African region will be eased.
"We are putting money in Uganda Development Bank for you to borrow and expand your production. Labour is still cheap in Uganda compared to the international market," he added.
Museveni also said the peace and stability which the country enjoys is a guarantee for protection of investments. He warned Ugandan technocrats against frustrating investments.
He also told investors that his government will discourage imports through the taxation tool and other forms of protectionism for the local manufacturing industry.
"Investors are in the right place at the right time. Africa is a very easy place for investment," he observed.
Museveni also said the Government had addressed the issue of the costs of electricity, adding that the price of a unit would fall to US 5 cents soon.
The state minister for investment, Evelyn Anite, said another 305 factories were under construction in Namanve.
"The industrial area did not grow initially because officials were charging investors a premium, but after the President stopped that, the park is now growing very fast," she added.
The minister reported that Zou Industries Centre, one of the new factories, will get an additional five acres to expand their activities as per their request.
The General Manager of Zuo Industries Centre that houses most of these new factories, Zuo Yue, said they started developing the complex (housing the factories) in 2018 and completed it by the end of 2019.
He added that they are committed to establishing similar facilities in other parks across the country to attract small and medium-sized manufacturing businesses by availing them with the necessary services to launch their operations.
"This Industries Centre model is a faster way of attracting such medium-sized manufacturers in large numbers. These, in turn, provide jobs and better the skills of Ugandans," Yue added.
In May this year, Museveni launched LIDA Packaging Products Ltd in Mukono, which produces face masks and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). LIDA reportedly employs 315 people.
Earlier in March, the President commissioned four factories at the Sino-Uganda Industrial Park in Mbale, eastern Uganda. The four factories are part of the 55 to be established in the industrial park, with a value of $600m. At full capacity, the industrial park will create about 15,000 jobs for Ugandans.