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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Construction begins on Uganda’s first public Free Zone

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Construction has begun in earnest on Uganda’s first public Free Zone being spearheaded by National Enterprise Corporation (NEC).

Free Zones are customs controlled areas where raw materials, goods, plant and machinery may be landed, handled, manufactured or reconfigured for export without being subject to import and export duties.

The project is being set up on a 5 acres of land and is expected to cost about UGX 48 Billion. Ugandan Administration has already allocated UGX 12.5 Billion for the first phase of the project to kickoff.

Upon completion, the Free Zone will house seven (7) 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 Uganda’s first public 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.

UFZA appreciates the contribution of GoU, development partners, Private sector and key MDAs like MoFPED, CAA, MoWT, NPA, Entebbe Municipality, UDC, NEMA, etc. for the support in the project development this far.

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.

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