NAMANVE – The long-awaited project for the development of a vital infrastructure network in Kampala Industrial and Business Park (KIBP) in Namanve has taken off.
Kampala IBP, popularly known as Namanve Industrial Park, is Uganda’s flagship industrial park created by an Act of Parliament in 1997.
It is operated by Uganda Investment Authority (UIA), the country’s primary investment promotion agency and provider of one-stop services for investors, both domestic and foreign.
The Namanve Project is funded by the Government of Uganda through contractor-facilitated financing arrangements with the primary objective of contributing significantly to Uganda’s development through industrialization and the creation of jobs.
Key infrastructure to be developed include a network tarmac roads, bridges, traffic management systems and solar lighting, water distribution network including a reservoir, sewerage network, waste treatment system including for solid waste. Others are power supply systems (grid power and solar), fibre optic network, a closed-circuit television network, workspaces for small and medium enterprises, and fire-fighting systems.
Although all 2,200 acres of land in the industrial park are allocated to investors, most of them have found it challenging to set up shop due to the complex geographical terrain and inadequate basic infrastructure.
In order to deal comprehensively with the infrastructure challenges, the Government, through the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, entered into a memorandum of understanding with United Kingdom-based contractor Lagan Group Ltd. for the development of infrastructure in the industrial park.
In the project, UIA is the “Employer” and will oversee its management and supervision while the Owner’s Engineer is a consortium of three firms namely Roughton International Ltd., Turner and Townsend International Ltd., Joadah Consult Ltd., and Basic Group Ltd.
Estimates suggest the project will create 25,484 direct jobs in the construction phase, a further 39,800 in the short term and over 200,000 jobs once the industrial park is fully operational.
Speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony at the Steel and Tube Industries grounds in Namanve, the Minister for Investment and Privatisation, Evelyne Anite, said the infrastructure project will transform Namanve into the flagship industrial park it should be.
Minister Anite said the industrial park, in addition to creating over 200,000 jobs for Ugandans, will contribute to import substitution and boost exports. She cautioned the contractor to do a good job and warned against shoddy work and corruption.
The United Kingdom Minister for Africa, Andrew Stephenson MP, said the industrial park has the potential for setting the base for industrialization, job creation and boosting exports.
The Minister of Works and Transport, Gen. Katumba Wamala said the construction works should take into consideration environmental concerns.
The Chair of the Board of Directors of Uganda Investment Authority, Dr Emely Kugonza said inadequate infrastructure has been the biggest challenge in the industrial park, adding that the project is a game-changer for investors and industrialization. He pledged UIA’s continued support to investors.
The Chairman of Steel and Tube Industries, Joseph Yiga, who represented investors already operating in Namanve industrial park, hailed the Government for establishing industrial parks, noting that a fully serviced park will ease doing business.
Declan Canavan, the Group Finance Officer of Lagan Group of the United Kingdom, said the infrastructure project marks a key milestone for the development of Uganda. He promised that the project will be delivered on time.
The Namanve infrastructure project is planned to run for 42 calendar months (three and a half years), with a warranty period of 12 months for the contractor and 24 months for the owner’s engineer.
Currently, in Namanve, 40 industries are fully operational, 100 projects are under various stages of development, while 140 companies are in the pre-start stage including activities like surveying, processing deed plans, and titles, amongst others.
Of the operational companies, 16 are among Uganda’s Top 100 taxpayers, with the total net value of UGX 11 trillion shillings and cumulative UGX300 billion shillings in taxes.