Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) boss Jolly Kamugira Kaguhangire

The development of Mbale Industrial and Business Park starts with its official launch tomorrow by President Yoweri Museveni, a leading proponent of Uganda’s industrialisation project.

Thousands of residents from Mbale town and neighboring districts are expected to attend the launch of the Park that is expected to employ thousands, many of whom will be casual workers.

The 619 acre Mbale Industrial and Business Park is located in Mbale Municipality along Mbale-Tororo Highway. The Uganda Investment Authority has a mandate to establish 22 Industrial and Business parks throughout the country to create jobs and add value to locally available raw materials.

In July, 2017, a consortium of eight Chinese enterprises signed agreements with Tian Tang Group to invest in Mbale Industrial Park, eastern Uganda.

Tian Tang Group was given the mandate to develop the industrial park in order to speed up job creation in the country. The park is expected to house 30 enterprises and create about 12,000 jobs for Ugandans.

The eight companies are to invest in fruit processing and beverage production, rice processing and production, sanitation supplies manufacturing, wood processing and furniture manufacturing, glass manufacturing, household appliances manufacturing and solar pumping systems, among others.

Local investors are also expected to open up shops in the park. It is expected that local artisans as well as automobile repairers will leave the town centre and establish base in the park.

UIA had been having issues with the compensation of land owners but in August last year its Executive Director Jolly Kaguhangire pledged would pay off the remaining claimants in September 2017. The compensation of more than 800 families was to cot Shs4.5b.

The development of the Mbale Industrial and Business Park is expected to provide market for agricultural goods produced in other districts like Butaleja, Budaka, Tororo, Kibuku, Manafwa, Sironko and Bududa, Bulambuli, Sironko, Kumi and others.

In a related development, the other industrial and business parks UIA has established include Kampala Industrial and Business Park (KIBP) – Namanve, Luzira Industrial and Business Park, Bweyogerere Industrial and Business Park, Jinja Industrial and Business Park, Kasese Industrial and Business Park. Others are Soroti Industrial and Business Park and Karamoja Industrial and Business Park.

The establishment of factories and services at KIBP is in high gear with some companies already operating from there, UIA having facilitated the Park with water and electricity, drainage channels, roads and security.