Uganda Free Zone Authority (UFZA), has handed over the site of five acres of land to National Enterprise Corporation (NEC), the commercial arm of the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF), to embark on the initial phase of construction of the first Public Free Zone in Uganda.
UFZA acquired the land from Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) for development of the Free Zone at the Entebbe International Airport.
The Zone development is projected to cost about Shs 48 Billion. Government allocated UGX 12.5 Billion for the first phase of the project to kickoff. Upon completion, the Free Zone will house seven production units and a Trade house that will host offices of UFZA, URA and other Government offices to facilitate smooth flow of business in the Zone.
The Chairman, Board of Directors, Eng. Dr. Feredrick Kiwanuka said that the proposed sectors for the project include; food processing (agro-processing), mineral processing, warehousing, storage, simple assembly, etc. All Operators in this Public Free Zone will process their products for onward export through Entebbe International Airport.
Speaking at the event, the Executive Director UFZA, Mr. Hez Kimoomi Alinda said that the Free Zone is expected to create at least 240 direct jobs and significantly contribute to an increase in Uganda’s exports. It will also directly contribute cargo volumes to recently revived Uganda Airlines thereby boosting its business as the company secures more routes.
UFZA is required to establish strategically located Public Free Zones equipped with all required infrastructure to afford Operators ‘plug and play’ facilities to enable them seamlessly undertake the business of manufacturing, value addition of products for onward export without the hustle to develop their own Zones.
The Chairman urged NEC the contractor and Oubuntu Consults Limited the supervisor to fast track the completion of the works to pave way for the second phase of the Zone implementation.
The Authority is mandated to spearhead and oversee the establishment, development, management, marketing, maintenance, supervision and control of Free Zones and other related matters.
Free Zones are customs-controlled areas where goods introduced into the designated area are generally regarded so far as import duties are concerned as being outside the Customs territory. The Free Zones are schemes set up by the Government to boost export-oriented investment.