KAMPALA – The ruling party NRM continues to share its half-term manifesto fulfillment. During Manifesto Week, the government seeks to take stock of where it has reached and what it needs to do to fast-track implementation but also to explain and share the synergies required in the implementation process of the manifesto commitments.
On Tuesday evening, the Ministry for Trade Industry and Cooperatives shared that trade is expected to contribute to the country’s GDP through industry development and manufacturing programs, with an intention to reduce the low levels of industry, the limited export markets and low labor productivity.
David Bahati, the Minister of State for Trade, Industry and Cooperatives said that to address the low levels of industrialization, Uganda Development Corporation – (UDC) has invested in a total of 13 ventures that cut across 4 major sectors which are; agro-industry, infrastructure services, construction, and hospitality.
Agro-industry, he said forms the government’s investment portfolio with currently 9 investments distributed across four commodities of tea, sugar, cotton, cassava, coffee and fruits.
The minister revealed that UDC has invested in four tea factories that process black tea for domestic and export using CTC technology including;
Kayonza Growers Tea Factory located in Kanungu district. It has an installed capacity of 3 CTC lines with an input capacity of about 180 MT per day of green leaf;
Kigezi Highland Tea Factory in Kabale and Kisoro. It has an installed capacity of 2 CTC lines one in Kabale and another in Kisoro with a total input capacity of about 100 MT of green leaf per day.
Mabale Growers Tea Factory in Kabarole. It has installed capacity of 2 CTC lines with a total input capacity of about 120MT per day of green leaf; and
Mpanga Growers Tea Factory in Kabarole. It has installed capacity of 2 CTC lines with a total input capacity of about 120 MT per day of green leaf.
Other areas the government has invested in including;
Sugar. UDC has invested in Atiak Sugar factory located in Amuru district. The company is engaged in the production of sugar, industrial sugar, power generation, etc. “The company is currently undergoing expansion operations including infrastructure development, irrigation, etc. Operations are expected to resume by the end of 2024.”
Cotton. Bahati noted that the government has invested in Mutuma Commercial Agencies Ltd located in Luka district.
“The company is engaged in cotton processing into both intermediary and final products such as surgical cotton, cotton cake, soap stock and cottonseed oil. The company has a ginning capacity of 2,590 MT/year. The cotton wool facility on the other hand has an installed capacity of 475MT per annum.”
Cassava. UDC has invested in Bukona Agro processors Ltd located in Nwoya district. “The company is engaged in the processing of cassava and cereals into ethanol for cooking and has an input capacity of 100 MT/day to produce about 40,000 liters per day of ethanol.”
Coffee. UDC has invested in Budadiri Arabica Coffee Mills Ltd (BACML) located in Sironko district.
Fruits. UDC has invested in Soroti Fruits Factory Ltd located in Soroti District. The factory has an installed processing capacity of 6 MT/hour for mangoes and 6 MT/hour of oranges into puree/concentrates and also ready-to-drink juice, the minister said.
Minister Bahati noted that UDC is currently exploring the possibilities of setting up a tea processing factory in Zombo district with an output capacity of 600kg/hr., a fruit processing factory in Luwero district with products such as canned pineapple, munanansi juice and dried fruits, a coffee hurling, grading, and roasting plant in Lyantonde district, a starch factory in Acholi region.
He said his ministry through the MSME department has accelerated the diversification of the economy from over-reliance on agriculture through tailor-made training on business Development techniques to MSMEs.
The minister added that UDC has also invested in other strategic sectors such as hospitality, infrastructure and transport services to drive economic development including;
Kalangala Infrastructure services. UDC invested in Kalangala Infrastructure Services Company through Public Private Partnership (PPP) to provide infrastructure services in Bugala Island that previously were lacking in the area.
Abau baker Technical Services. UDC has invested in Abubaker Technical Services and General Supplies Limited, a local construction company.
“UDC has invested in the hospitality industry to provide accommodation, dining and restaurant services, conference facilities, leisure and entertainment to boost the tourism industry in Uganda. UDC has a portfolio of 4 hotels; Nile Hotel International, Munyonyo Common Wealth Resort and Speke Resort Convention Centre,” said Bahati.
According to him, the government currently owns a 31.9% stake in Munyonyo Common Wealth Resort.
He also revealed that UDC owns 100% of the shares of Nile Hotel International Limited, the company that owns the assets on which Kampala Serena hotel sits.
“Speke Resort Convention Centre (SRCC). A convention Centre is to be established in Munyonyo in partnership with Meera Investment Limited (MIL). UDC and MIL will hold an equal stake of 50%.”
On the health sector, the minister said UDC is exploring possibilities of investing in the Health Sector by setting up an Intravenous Fluids Factory in the Rwenzori Sub Region. “A feasibility study was undertaken and recommended that the project is viable. UDC is currently soliciting for funds.”
Construction Sector; in the physical infrastructure mainly roads, UDC has invested in Abubaker Technical Services and General Supplies Limited.
Moroto Ateker Cement Factory; “UDC in partnership with the private sector intends to set up an integrated cement, lime and marble plants in Moroto district to add value to the existing raw materials(limestone/marble) that has not been fully exploited. UDC completed drilling 5 boreholes out of the 13 planned boreholes within the exploration area and analysis of samples collected is ongoing in the laboratory to ascertain the quality of the marble,” Bahati said.
He noted that the government is in the process of revamping the Lake Katwe salt project into a chemical plant to produce salt for human consumption and by-products to be used in the chemical, pharmaceutical and textile industry.
Bahati said that UDC has invested in Abubaker Technical Services and General Supplies Limited in a bid to reduce the dominance of foreign companies in the construction sector.
“The KIIRA EV Project is now established in Jinja aimed at the establishment of KIIRA Motors Corporation the Pioneer Original Equipment Manufacturer in East Africa.”
He noted that UDC partnered with NPA to conduct a pre-feasibility study and a comprehensive feasibility study for public investment in the packaging industry in Uganda.
The minister, however, decried the limited flow FDI into the manufacturing sector due to business uncertainty, high cost of electricity, and transport.
Also, he said there are challenges of inadequate and poor quality of raw materials to constantly feed the industry, outdated and low uptake of /Investment in technology, limited capacity and competence of human resource in science, technology and innovation.
Bahati also decried the lack of competitiveness of products due to not complying with quality/safety requirements but also the high cost of production and doing business Limited investments in import substitution industries and export promotion interventions.
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