• Mon. Sep 25th, 2023

UGANDA, Wakiso | Real Muloodi News | The United Kingdom has offered to lend the Uganda government £2b (USh9.5 trillion) for industrial park development.

According to the UK trade envoy to Uganda, Lord Dolar Popat, the £2b is in addition to the £500m that the UK Export Finance and the UK Export Credit Agency had earlier earmarked.

Lord Popat and Kate Airey, the British High Commissioner, visited the Kampala Industrial and Business Park, Namanve in Wakiso district. 

The construction of the Kampala Industrial Park is funded through a loan from UK Export Finance.

“We have the money available to lend to the Uganda government. It is not the Ugandan taxpayers paying for it, but the private investors,” Popat said.

Popat added the park would contribute to Uganda’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) once completed. 

“Already, there is a demand for space by many companies and I am told you want to do five parks. We want to support Uganda in those five parks. Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) director-general accepts the fact that UIA is a government agency, but you should run it as a business and we will support UIA,” Popat said.

Popat, born in Butaleja District, Uganda, added he was the transport minister in the House of Lords but stepped down in 2013. 

“I am committed to Uganda. My heart and soul are here, and this is my place of birth,” Popat said.

UIA director-general Robert Mukiza said the current physical progress of the industrial park stood at 17%, rather than the expected improvement of about 28%, and yet the time elapsed is 35%. According to the UIA director, the industrial park already hosts at least 80 industries, fully operational. Over 300 parks are still under various stages of development.

“With road designs for the north and south A estate complete, construction began on May 1. However, it has been slow, mainly because of several contractual hindrances which are, however, being handled and we expect the work progress to pick up shortly,” he added.

According to Eng. Andrew Bamanya, the chairperson of the board of Lagan-Dott JV, the prime contractor of the project, will deliver a high-quality project.

“We are committed to delivering a high-quality product that will be a world-class industrial park and a benchmarking example for other parks. During the delivery journey we are committed to improving local skills and employment and ensuring the environmental issues in the park are managed and maintained,” Bamanya said.

According to Eng. Andrew, the project comprises improvements to the road network and the sewerage system.

The project also has water, drainage, fibre optic backbone, solar street lighting, small and medium-sized enterprises workspaces and other amenities.

Alex Nuwagira, the Infrastructure Development Project Manager, noted they would speed up the construction work to ensure they complete the project within the designated time.

“We have the money available to lend to the Uganda government. It is not the Ugandan taxpayers paying for it, but the private investors,” Popat said.

The park covers an area of about 890 hectares, and the government wants it to become a model industrial park in Uganda.

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