Kampala, Uganda: The United Kingdom Minister for Africa Andrew Stephenson MP was in Uganda on Sunday to meet President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni and attend a ground-breaking ceremony at the Namanve Industrial Park, officials told ChimpReports.
His visit comes a week before the UK-Africa Investment Summit in London on January 20, 2020.
The summit, hosted by the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is expected to see the UK and African leaders, including President Museveni, create new lasting partnerships that will deliver more investment, jobs and growth.
Minister Stephenson thanked the President for agreeing to attend the Summit.
He briefed the President on preparations for the Summit, highlighting the UK’s commitment to investing in Uganda’s future, and discussed how the summit is an opportunity to strengthen trade and investment ties.
During his visit, Minister Stephenson also attended a ground-breaking ceremony at Namanve Industrial Park alongside Hon Evelyn Anite, Minister for Investment and Privatisation.
Work will soon begin to upgrade the park, including construction of roads, water, electricity, waste treatment facilities, sewerage and drainage networks and optic fibre networks.
The project is being led UK contractors Lagan Group Limited owned by Kevin Lagan.
Estimates suggest the project will create 25,484 direct jobs in the construction phase, a further 39,800 in the short term and over 200,000 jobs in the long term.
Speaking at the ground-breaking ceremony in Namanve, Minister Stephenson said:
“Uganda is an important partner for the UK and we are working together to deliver more investment, jobs and growth – benefitting the businesses and people of both our nations.”
He added: “The UK supports Uganda’s ambition to become a middle-income country by 2040. Boosting infrastructure, enhancing investment and trade, and strengthening Uganda’s manufacturing base is vital. That is why I am delighted to be here at this ground-breaking for the construction of infrastructure for the Namanve Industrial Park.”
Kampala Industrial Business Park at Namanve was developed by the Uganda Investment Authority in the early 2000s as a central location for investors to locate factories, warehouses, and distribution centres.
It spans an area near 900 hectares and houses some of Uganda’s most prominent companies including Roofings Steel Mill, Hima Cement, and Kyagalanyi Coffee.
Stephenson said his Prime Minister looked forward to welcoming Uganda at the UK-Africa Investment Summit later this month “where we can deepen our investment partnership.”
Anite speaks out
On her part, Minister Anite said Uganda remained “proud of the ongoing investment opportunities between the UK and Uganda,” adding, “Today’s ground-breaking event at Namanve is testament to the UK Uganda partnership. We look forward to discussing further investment deals between the UK and Uganda at the summit later this month which will help strengthen the shared prosperity between our countries.”
Potential future investment opportunities that Hon Anite will explore at the summit include a boost to agri-business, sustainable power, bridges, and roads, which will help create jobs and boost development.
Minister Stephenson also visited Great Lakes Coffee, a leading Ugandan speciality coffee exporting company, who have received £4 million UK aid funding via the Agriculture Development Corporation (AgDevCo).
AgDevCo are a specialist investor in African agribusinesses, and globally have received £184 million in UK aid to help develop sustainable agribusiness in Africa.
Great Lakes Coffee source from 22,236 registered Ugandan farmers under the Great Lakes Coffee Sustainable Coffee Program, providing agri-business training with a focus on price transparency, quality and traceability.
They work closely with Falcon Coffees, a UK speciality coffee company who sell 65% of GLC’s coffee around the world, including to UK markets. Working together, AgDevCo, Great Lakes Coffee and Falcon Coffees make up a thriving coffee value chain, which is having a major impact on farmers in Uganda and taking Ugandan coffee to the UK and beyond.