Uganda’s First Free Trade Zone to Create 15,000 Jobs

President Yoweri Museveni has Tuesday met a delegation from Burundi at Jinja state Lodge.

The delegation has been sent by President Nkurunziza ahead of Burundi Dialogue conference next Monday.

The delegation was led by Chief of Staff, dosage Gen. Evariste Ndayishimiye, Ambassador Salvator Ntacobamaze and Jean Bosco Barege, the Burundi ambassador to Uganda.

According to Defense Minister Crispus Kiyonga, efforts to end violence in Burundi will resume on December 28,2015 after a five-month break.

The Burundian government, opposition and officials of neighboring countries will discuss a national unity administration among others.

Burundi, which has 6 percent of the world’s nickel reserves, descended into violence in April after President Nkurunziza announced plans to run for re-election in a vote he subsequently won in July.

Opponents say he violated a two-term limit laid down in 2005 after the nation’s civil war. More than 400 people have been killed in the violence, including the 87 that were killed recently.
The United States has urged Government of Uganda and all players in next year’s general elections to remain calm and refrain from violence that has started manifesting in the campaign season.

The U.S. Embassy in Kampala this morning expressed concern over “what appears to be an increasingly tense campaign environment in the lead up to February 2016 elections in? Uganda.”


In a brief statement, recipe the embassy alluded to a number of instances where physical fighting has erupted between supporters of the various candidates, warning that this could escalate and curtail the evenness of next year’s elections.

The embassy pointed out the brawl in Ntungamo district, where supporters of incumbent President Museveni and Amama Mbabazi were involved in a fight in which several of them were injured.

Police has since embarked on the hunt for the perpetrators of the brawl and arrested 17 suspects from Mbabazi’s camp.

Such incidents, the US embassy warned, have the potential to undermine the potential for a free, fair, and peaceful election.

“We urge all parties to exercise restraint, uphold the rights of all Ugandan citizens, and commit to resolving differences through peaceful dialogue,” read part of the statement.

Hon. Matia Kasaija, check Minister of Finance, site Planning and Economic Development on Monday signed an agreement with ASB Group of Companies at the Ministry’s Boardroom to establish a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Kaweweta, Nakaseke district as part of Government efforts to industrialise the economy.

Hon. Matia Kasaija said the agreement ushers in a critical investment in manufacturing and agribusiness, particularly livestock and meat production in Uganda.

“The Project will accelerate infrastructure development, create 15,000 – 20,000 jobs, increase on productivity, technological transfer, and is projected to cause a GDP growth of the Ugandan economy,” he said.

In Uganda, the Kaweweta Special Economic Zone will be the first of its kind. However these SEZs have been in existence; in East Africa, Kenya, Tanzania and Rwanda have had such zones.

The Uganda Free Zones Authority which was established in 2014, has been negotiating with the ASB Group to develop the SEZ in Nakaseke.

The Zone will be a specially demarcated duty free enclave for the purpose of production, processing, packaging and export of agribusiness products.

Free Zones are generally regarded as controlled geographic areas where goods are landed, handled, manufactured or reconfigured, and re-exported without the intervention of the customs authorities.

Mr Sitki Ayan, the Chairman of ASB Group said, ‘Our main target is to turn Kaweweta Free Zone into Uganda’s primary gate-way for the entry of FDI, and there will be economic spill-over effects to the national economy.’

He added that the project will attract local farmers to contract farming formula and will bring in about 200 entities into the Kaweweta Special Economic Zone.

Richard Jabo, Executive Director of Uganda Free Zones Authority said the policy objectives of Government in adopting Free Zones schemes was to increase Uganda’s export potential and increase jobs, thereby reducing the current trade deficit.

Turkish based ASB Group of Companies plan to invest in the livestock, coffee, cotton and other agro based processing which they will export to the European, Middle East and other international markets, helping to boost Uganda’s economy.

It has extensive international experience in managing and operating; agribusiness, transportation, trading, investment, oil, gas and engineering services around the world.

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