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), on a five-acre piece of land acquired from the Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) at the Entebbe International Airport premises.
The Zone development is projected to cost about $12.9 million, 26 percent of which the government has already allocated for the first phase of the project to kickoff.
An overview of the future Public Free Zone
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, Board of Directors, 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, 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.
The Chairman urged NEC – the contractor and Oubuntu Consults Limited – the supervisor to fast track the completion of the construction works of the first phase to pave way for the second phase of the project implementation.
Follow @BriefingAfrica on Twitter
Follow @jonansah on Twitter