Kampala, Uganda | GODFREY SSALI | The Uganda Development Corporation (UDC), the investment arm of government mandated to promote and facilitate industrial and economic development of the country, has finally got a first Board of Directors since its revival in 2008.
The new board which will be chaired by Hamu Mugenyi, was approved by Uganda’s cabinet on September 29th, 2017.
Mugenyi, a lawyer by profession, is a specialist in regulation of securities and capital markets, negotiating joint ventures and collective investment schemes among others.
Others members include Andrew Magezi Rugasira, the Founder of Good African Coffee, Ramathan Ggoobi, the Managing Director of Great Lakes Communications and Ambassador Julius B. Onen, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives.
Others are Keith Muhakanizi, the Permanent Secretary and Secretary to the Treasury, Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Miriam Magala, the Chief Executive Officer of the Uganda Insurers Association and Josephine Okot, the Managing Director of Victoria Seeds Limited, a private full line seed company. The Board will serve for a period of 3 years.
The nine member board is mandated to steer the corporation by investing in strategic business ventures singly or in partnership with private sector investors both local and international.
The revival of UDC got on track when the UDC Bill 2014 was finally passed into Law by Parliament on 2nd March 2016 and assented to by the President. However, since then the corporation did not have a board, something that has hindered its full operation.
Even without a board, UDC has already intervened in the business space – particularly in areas where the private sector shies away either due to low returns in the immediate foreseeable future or due to initial heavy capital requirements .
Initiatives that UDC is already invovled in are on behalf of government are:
THE TESO FRUIT FACTORY: The $10 million project is being implemented by UDC on behalf the government of Uganda in partnership with the Government of the Republic of South Korea through KOICA. This investment will see the realisation of a fruit processing factory in Teso region whose abundant fruit has suffered severe post harvest losses due to lack of reliable market. Construction of the factory at the UIA Industrial and Business Park situated at Arapai in Soroti has been completed with all machinery installed. Commissioning of the factory is expected to take place in January 2018.
KALANGALA INFRASTRUCTURE SERVICES: Through a PPP framework with other development partners, UDC is a co-investor in a four-component infrastructure company in Kalangala providing electricity (generation and distribution), piped water, quality and reliable ferry services and a good road to the inhabitants of Kalangala.
A FRUIT PROCESSING FACTORY IN LUWERO: Feasibility studies have been undertaken to establish a fruit processing factory to provide a stable market for the abundant good fruit available in the greater Luwero region. The factory will focus on adding value to pineapple.
VEHICLE ASSEMBLY AND MANUFACTURING: Working hand in hand with the KIIRA EV Project team, UDC is supporting innovative breakthroughs in the automotive space; this will lead to the birth of the first ever automotive manufacturing /assembly establishment in Uganda and the region in partnership with a leading automotive player.
Other initiatives under consideration are the establishment of a cement factory in the Karamoja and investments in tourism, iron, steel , sheet glass, tea and other agro-processing projects.