Uganda gives nod to Arua free zone

East African Business Week - - FRONT PAGE - BY SAMUEL NABWIISO

KAMPAL, UGANDA - The Uganda Free Zones Author­ity (UFZA) has is­sued their first de­vel­oper’s li­cense to Arua Spe­cial Eco­nomic Zone (ARUASEZ) to de­velop a $12.7m Eco­nomic Zone in West Nile.

“Uganda is known for be­ing an im­port­ing coun­try but with the com­ing of Arua SEZ on board to de­velop the Eco­nomic zone in the district, this will in­crease on the num­ber of goods and ser­vices ex­ported from Uganda. “The zone will not only sup­port Uganda to en­hance ex­ports but also boost tech­nol­ogy trans­fer and skills from de­vel­oped coun­tries that

con­trib­ute sig­nif­i­cantly to eco­nomic growth,” the Chair­man Board UFZA Eng Dr. Fredrick Ki­wanuka said. Ki­wanuka said the free zones will ac­cel­er­ate ex­port-led in­dus­tri­al­iza­tion and boost em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties in the re­gion among other Eco­nomic value. The Arua Free zone is ex­pect- ed to cost the de­vel­oper around $12.7m with an ad­di­tional cost of about $30.6 mil­lion from op­er­a­tors or Busi­ness en­ter­prises that will un­der­take new in­vest­ments with in the spe­cial Eco­nomic Zone. Ac­cord­ing to UZFA and Arua SEZ the zone is ex­pected to cre­ate an es­ti­mated 2,000 di­rect and in­di­rect jobs. Re­ceiv­ing the de­vel­oper’s Li­cense Arua SEZ board chair­man, Eng. Dr. Eric Adriko com­mended UFZA for con­sid­er­ing lo­cal Inves- tors as their first priority when al­lo­cat­ing Eco­nomic zones to in­vestors. He as­sured the Author­ity that Arua SEZ will ex­e­cute the de­vel­op­ment of the Zone ac­cord­ing to the time-frame as stip­u­lated in the de­vel­op­ment agree­ment be­tween the Author­ity and Arua SEZ. “We are com­mit­ted to de­velop the zone within the stip­u­lated time and as Arua SEZ we have part­nered with fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tions to fi­nance the project which is a key driver in trans­form­ing the whole of west Nile (Arua) both so­cially and eco­nom­i­cally,” he said. The de­vel­op­ment of Arua free Eco­nomic Zone is ex­pected to last for a pe­riod of twelve months. Among the key de­vel­op­ments, Arua SEZ will de­velop 4,5000 square me­ters of pro­duc­tive ware­house space on a site of 12 hectares in­clud­ing an Ex­port Busi­ness Ac­cel­er­a­tor park for lo­cal SME,S to get on the in­ter­na­tional Value chain.

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