Uganda commences first free zone
The government of Uganda through the Uganda Free Zone Authority (UFZA), has commenced the construction of the first Public Free Zone in the East African country. The project will be implemented by the National Enterprise Corporation (NEC), the commercial arm of the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF).
Five acres piece of land has been acquired from the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) at the Entebbe International Airport premises.
The Zone development is projected to cost about US$ 12.9M, 26% of which the Government of Uganda (GoU) has already allocated for the first phase of the project to kickoff.
Upon completion, the public Free Zone will house seven production units and a Trade house that will host offices of UFZA, Uganda Revenue Authority (URA,) and other Government offices to facilitate a smooth flow of business in the Zone.
According to the Chairman Eng. Dr. Feredrick Kiwanuka, the proposed sectors for the project include food processing (agro-processing), mineral processing, warehousing, storage, simple assembly, among others.
All operators in this Public Free Zone will process their products for onward export through the Entebbe International Airport.
Expectations for the project
Speaking at the site handover event, the Executive Director of UFZA said that the Free Zone is expected to create at least 240 direct jobs and significantly contribute to an increase in Uganda’s exports. He has used several examples across the continent, among others the Nigerian Agbara Industrial Park.
It will also directly contribute cargo volumes to recently revived Uganda Airlines thereby boosting its business as the company secures more routes.
The Chairman urged NEC – the contractor and the supervisor Oubuntu Consults Limited to fast-track the completion of the construction works of the first phase.