Entebbe, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Uganda Free Zone Authority (UFZA) has today handed over a five acre piece of land to National Enterprise Corporation (NEC), the commercial arm of the Uganda People’s Defence Force (UPDF), to embark on the initial phase of construction of a first Public Free Zone.
The proposed sectors for the project are food processing (agro-processing), mineral processing, warehousing, storage and simple assembly plants. All operators in this Public Free Zone will process their products for onward export through Entebbe International Airport.
Upon completion, the Entebbe Airport Free Zone will house seven production units and a Trade house that will host offices of UFZA, URA and other government institutions to facilitate smooth flow of business in the zone.
The Free Zone at Entebbe Airport is expected to create at least 240 direct jobs and significantly contribute to an increase in Uganda’s exports, officials said. It will also directly contribute cargo volumes to recently revived Uganda Airlines thereby boosting its business as the company secures more routes.
Free Zones are customs-controlled areas where goods introduced into the designated area are generally regarded, so far as import duties are concerned, as being outside the customs territory. The Free Zones are schemes set up by government to boost export-oriented investment.
UFZA is required to establish strategically located Public Free Zones equipped with all required infrastructure to afford Operators ‘plug and play’ facilities to enable them seamlessly undertake the business of manufacturing, value addition of products for onward export without the hustle to develop their own Zones.
UFZA acquired the five acres of land from Uganda Civil Aviation Authority (UCAA) for development of the Free Zone at the Entebbe International Airport.
The Zone development is projected to cost about UGX 48 Billion. The Government of Uganda (GoU) has already allocated UGX 12.5 Billion for the first phase of the project to kickoff.
The Chairman of Board of Directors, Eng. Dr. Feredrick Kiwanuka and the Executive Director – UFZA, Hez Kimoomi Alinda presided over the handover to General James Mugira, Managing Director NEC.
UFZA is mandated to spearhead and oversee the establishment, development, management, marketing, maintenance, supervision and control of Free Zones and other related matters.