Entebbe, Uganda| PPU| Uganda has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Chinese investors for three key projects.
President Yoweri Museveni witnessed the signing of the projects, which will see an East Africa-China Manufacturing, Trade and Exhibition Centre centre set up in Uganda. The other projects will see an establisment of a three-fold venture in food export and launch of the The Kampala Metropolitan Rapid Bus Transport project to resolve the transport congestion problem in the capital city.
The proposed $200 million East African – China Manufacturing, Trade and Exhibition Centre, is to be established on a 355,000 Square Metre piece of land in Bugolobi while the $25 abattoir project in the South Western part of the country, is expected to slaughter 200 cows per day for beef production. Under the proposed Kampala Metropolitan Rapid Bus Transport, with an investment portfolio of $40 million, will have 26 bus stations and 6 bus terminals established.
The MOU was signed by State Minister for Animal Industry, Joy Kabatsi, on behalf of the Government of Uganda while the Chief Executive of East Africa International Trade Company, Wang Shujun along with Executive Director of Wanton Think Tank, Lijun He and Jingshi, an outstanding entrepreneur, initialed it on behalf of the Chinese investment group.
The ceremony took place at State House, Entebbe and was witnessed by President Museveni and the Chinese envoy to Uganda, Ambassador Zheng Zhugiang.
“The Kampala Metropolitan Rapid Bus Transport project is a necessity. We should not continue to have so many cars with limited capacity,” Museveni said.
The investor is expected to construct 26 rapid bus stations, 420 stage shelters and an initial 400 buses with a carting capacity of 74 passengers.
“I know that many people have invested in taxis and boda bodas. I have suggested to the investor that taxi owners under their umbrella group be given an opportunity to buy shares in the bus company,” Museveni said, adding that “I will sit with the taxi and boda boda authorities to consolidate a favourable way forward for all parties.”
New centre in Bugolobi
The East Africa-China Manufacturing, Trade and Exhibition Centre to be set up in Bugolobi will be a one-stop centre for all Chinese merchandise and personnel for various sectors they are involved in.
According to the President, this project, with a capital investment of $200m, should resolve the issue of Chinese entrepreneurs engaging in small businesses and competing with wanainchi.
This arrangement, officials said, will help in enforcement of tax and work permits as well as cut importation costs for Ugandan traders.
The second project is a three-fold venture in food export, mainly beef. Worth $20m, the factory will need 200 animals per day.
“Our farmers should take this opportunity to expand our beef market to China. I am confident we have the capacity considering our cows are still totally dependent on natural grass,” Museveni said.
The beef processing venture will also make collagen peptides out of the bones left after cutting off meat. This is a health booster to be sold locally and supplied to China too.
The Chinese entrepreneurs requested the Government of Uganda to establish a coordinating committee to enable investors coordinate with the line Ministries and other relevant groups aiming at realizing high efficiency and progress.
Stephen Kaboyo, a member of the Presidential Advisory Group, who also attended the meeting observed that Uganda is yet to gain a strong foothold into the Chinese market that has high growth potential.