By Alan Mwesigwa
Several West Nile leaders and residents have donated 2,000 acres of land to government to construct industrial parks in the region.
The land is located in the districts of Nebbi, Madi Okollo and Yumbe.
A total of 515 acres was offered to Government by the family of Forotonanto Oshakire in Onvoro village, Padyere county Nebbi district; 555 acres in Madi Okollo, and 1200 acres in Bijjo sub-county, Yumbe district.
The donation was made to government through the Uganda Investment Authority (UIA).
Nebbi district chairperson Emmanuel Orombi explained that the donation was to encourage the government to fight poverty and unemployment in the three districts.
Orombi said, “We have suffered enough. Our children have resorted to criminality while the girls are getting married at a tender age due to being idle.”
He encouraged investors to come to Nebbi because there is plenty of land and the locals are willing to donate for development.
Robert Mukiza, the Uganda Investment Authority Director General, said the land in west Nile will help government harness the market in the Democratic Republic of Congo as South Sudan. “You know West Nile is near Congo and South Sudan and there is ready market there so we must get ready to tap into that market but also develop the region” Mukiza said.
Morrison Rwakakamba, UIA Board chairman said, the establishment of Industrial parks is part of the regional industrialization agenda and job creation but also ensuring promotion of local content through value addition. “You realise our people have raw materials but what we are missing is Industries to add value to produce so that our people earn higher from their sweat,” Rwakakamba said
Minister for Finance in charge of investment Evelyn Anite asked government to put in place incentives that will attract more local investors like tax holidays, reduced interest rates.
“When the investment climate is conducive in terms of policies everybody even those with limited money will move to invest unlike when the prevailing situation is not favourable,” Anite said.
Minister Anite also called on rich men and women born in West Nile but who live abroad and in Kampala to come and invest in their home districts.
“Our people had money but lacked guidance. Many build nice expensive houses in Kampala, others abroad, now government is opening the way for you come and invest in your home districts,” Anite urged.
Cabinet resolved that at least 25 industrial parks be set up by 2025 which also meets the president’s agenda of job creation.