Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Uganda will have more trade options upon the Implementation of the Regional Infrastructure Master Plan of the Intergovernmental Agency on Development (IGAD).
The masterplan seeks to establish infrastructure development priorities for IGAD countries; Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda. The move will enhance physical and economic integration by priority in the areas of transport, energy, ICT and transboundary water projects for investment.
Zacharia Kingori, the IGAD Regional Infrastructure Masterplan Project coordinator says that Uganda will no longer rely on the Mombasa port or Dar-es-salaam for import and export because the plan will connect Uganda to Addis Ababa, Djibouti port, Lamu port among others.
Kingori says that the masterplan will prioritize the regions transport sector as roads, railway and water will be worked on adequately. He says the current problem is that well as transport infrastructure is good in other countries of IGAD, many member states have bad roads.
According to Kingori, Uganda will have the opportunity to import goods at cheaper rates and export products in which it has a comparative advantage over other countries. He says traders will also have good options to export.
Kingori was speaking on the sidelines of an advocacy workshop for the Development of the IGAD Regional Infrastructure Master Plan at Best Western Hotel in Entebbe.
According to Abdulrazaq Ali of Africon consulting who is part of the team developing the masterplan, the initiative will also help facilitate the financing of developments in the country and most or all the projects will be joint.
Jamie Simpsons, the project Director for the Masterplan says they have identified priority projects in the areas of energy and transport costed between six to ten billion US Dollars which will be invested in a phased manner.
Elsadiq Abdalla, the IGAD Director Economic cooperation says IGAD is now enhancing African integration and in the long run, the eight-member countries will be linked by roads, ports and even telecommunications adequately. He says the meeting in Entebbe will deliberate on how the master plan will fit into environmental and gender issues, economic growth among others.
The total project cost of the masterplan is estimated at USD 3.69 million.