President Museveni has in recent days opened several factories, manufacturing and assembly plants which officials say are part of a long-term strategy to fully industrialize Uganda.
On Friday, Museveni commended the Bilaj Group of Companies for investing in Uganda, describing the move as an eye opener not only to the people of Luweero District in particular but also to those in Uganda in general in the area of wealth creation.
“I first of all thank you for coming to invest in Uganda and secondly for being an example to our people for making this land in Luweero productive. The owners of the factory now get Shs.85 billion per year. I thank you and encourage you,” he said.
The President was commissioning the SR AFRO CHICKS and BREEDERS LTD factory in Yandwe village, Butuntumula Sub-County in Central Uganda’s Luwero District.
The factory that is sitting on a 200-acre piece of land, employs over 1,000 Ugandan youth and produces one million eggs a day.
They also make other products like animal and chicken feeds, breed off layers and broilers among many products. The group supplies their products to local and external markets.
President Museveni asked the proprietors of Bilaji Group to also look at other products that are made from eggs like proteins for export.
The Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, Hon. Amelia Kyambadde, outlined the tremendous successes of her ministry and also thanked Bilaji Group for choosing to invest in Uganda.
One of the Directors of Bilaji Group of Companies, Mr. Sitaram Munangi pledged to open up more agro- based industries in the country to add value to Ugandan products.
State Minister for Investment, Hon. Evelyn Anite said a conducive environment has enabled investors to come to do business in Uganda.
She said over 30 factories have been commissioned this year of 2019, offering over 8,000 jobs to the youth.
Earlier President Museveni opened Uganda’s first ICT manufacturing and assembling factory.
Officials said Ugandans and the rest of Africa will now be able to buy and own Mobile phones and Computers with the proud Made in Uganda Logo.
At full capacity the factory will run three production lines, each line with daily production of 2,000 feature phones, 1,500 smart phones, 800 laptops, 2,000 Chargers, 4,000 USB cables and 4,000 sets of Ear phones and directly employing more than 400 staff.
On July 4 2019, the National Information Technology Authority Uganda (NITA-U) with the support of Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) entered a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with SIMI technologies to promote Local Electronics Manufacturing in Uganda.
The MoU is an extension of the “Buy Uganda build Uganda” policy that looks to build local capacity as a way of promoting local industry and the manufacture of high-tech goods within the country.
Speaking at the event, Minister Anite said, “For the first time in our country’s history we’re not going to be importing computers from China, from Europe, and over the world. We’ll be buying them right here, from Namanve industrial park”
She stated that it has been very expensive importing phones and computers.
The total estimated formal ICT imports bill increased from Shs 804.2 billion in Financial Year 2017/18 to Shs 885.4 billion in 2018/19, translating into a 10 percent increase.
This factory is seen as an important step towards reducing that import bill.
The minister of ICT and National Guidance Hon. Frank Tumwebaze who was present the event said, “The landmark factory is expected to make the country an exporter of ICT products which will boost our Balance of Trade and reduce our trade deficit.”
He added: “The issue of jobs will also be addressed as thousands of Ugandans will be able to acquire jobs both directly and indirectly.”
He urged ENGO holdings, the company behind the factory, to explore the use of Software designed by Ugandans in their manufacturing value chain.
John Musinguzi, NITA-U board chair shared Government’s plan to connect all industrial parks to the internet.
“A plan is underway to connect all industrial Parks to the National Backbone infrastructure. This means Investors will not have to incur high costs of internet connectivity which in this day and age is an essential component of any industrial operation,” he observed.
Why an ICT Manufacturing Factory?
In the Financial year 2018/2019, the ICT sector contributed 10.5 percent to overall national revenue.
Of that Revenue the ICT Manufacturing sector contributed only 0.30 percent.
With this factory, the contribution of ICT sector as a whole is expected to increase.
The percentage contribution of the ICT exports to total exports has been declining consistently from 0.4 percent in FY 2017/18 to 0.3 percent in FY 2018/19.
Uganda imported goods worth $874m (Shs3.2 trillion) in March 2019, the highest ever compared to $608m (Shs2.2 trillion) in February, according to data from Bank of Uganda.