“Sino-Uganda Mbale Park will become the leading manufacturing center and Mbale District will become a leading industrial city in the whole of Africa.” Those were comments made by the developer and Chairman of Sino- Uganda Mbale Industrial Park Mr. Paul Zhang, a Chinese national whose primary motive is to attract 60 investors and create 15000 jobs.
This would be a major boost to Uganda’s fast growing economy.
Sino-Uganda Mbale Industrial Park is one of 22 state-level industrial parks in Uganda, which were proposed by Ugandan President Museveni and China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi, approved by Uganda’s Ministry of Finance, organized and constructed by the Tian Tang Group. Since its launch, the project has won great attention and support from the governments of China and Uganda.
The park is located in the Mbale City, Eastern part of Uganda, it covers an area of 2.51 square kilometers, 220 kilometers away from Kampala, the capital of Uganda, 65 kilometers from the Kenyan border.
The park, was designed strategically adjacent to the standard gauge railway project.
The implies that transportation of the products extending in all directions is very convenient and the location is traffic hub from Uganda Inland to Mombasa port in Kenya.
Sitting on 619 acres of land the terrain in the park is flat and surrounding labor force is sufficient, electric high-voltage line is in place and the water resources are abundant, the telecommunications and the network are all covered.
The beneficiary being Mbale district is Uganda’s third largest city with a population of millions and is an extremely important border city.
This mega industrial park is the first national industrial park constructed overseas by Hebei province at the approval of the local government as it supports the enterprise in the transfer of its preponderant business capacity.
Business pundits say the Industrial Park has many advantages such as advantageous geographical position, preferential policy, broad development and high return of investment, it is the most potentiality national industrial park in Uganda at present.
Africa’s Industrial Hub
Touring the park on Tuesday to assess the development, Chairman Zhang who was accompanied by State Minister in charge of Investment Hon Evelyn Anite proudly said so far 600 Ugandans have grabbed the jobs and more 14400 will be available when the park is fully operational in the next two years.
Looking forward Zhang said his dream is to attract 60 Chinese investors to establish tens of factories.
“We have successfully attracted eleven investors. Three of them are called Pearlight Technology Ltd, Ubon Technology Ltd and Victoria Cable Lea Their businesses are lighting and bulbs, washing powders and painting products, wire and cables. Lots of professional workers are trained here, more than 600 job have been created locally,” he said.
He added: “In addition we are constructing a small and medium enterprises incubation base. This project covers 20 acres of land. Total Investment is $80m. it will attract investors and create 3000 jobs. It will not only give chance for Chinese to invest in Uganda but also help many small and medium-sized Ugandan companies.”
Concluding his speech, Zhang reiterated that the park become the leading manufacturing center and Mbale will become a leading industrial city in the whole Africa.
Mr. Zhang was sourced by Hon Anite who labored to convince him that Uganda was still a virgin land with multiple opportunities in investment.
“And he accepted to come and invest here. he didn’t stop there, Zhang also embarked on convincing fellow Chinese to shit investment to Uganda.” she added.
She said her pride is Sino Park has started ‘bearing fruits’ and sooner will be a leading industrial park in Uganda. “I take this park as one of my first achievements during my term of office.”
The Minister stressed that 900 squatters who previously occupied the land had been paid, and would be the first beneficiaries of the park.
She implored the 20 who sought legal redress after they objected the methods of acquiring their land to opt to settle matters out of court as government is ready to pay them. “Your money is there. Please leave court. This investment is yours, mine and for every Ugandan,” she requested.
Representing Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) board chairman, Morrison Rwakakamba assured the residents that the issue of electricity would soon be solved by establishing a substation at the park.
The park has already three factories actively manufacturing lighting bulbs, cable wires and detergents.
Asked about the investment, Paul Zhang estimates that the park will cost over $500 million.