Mukono, Uganda | By Michael Wandati | The Namanve Industrial and Business Park in Mukono District has experienced a notable increase in industrial activity, thanks to significant infrastructure upgrades spearheaded by the Government of Uganda.
These infrastructure upgrades, funded through contractor-facilitated financing arrangements, encompass the development of over 44 kilometers of road networks, bridges, traffic management systems, solar lighting, and water and power distribution systems.
Before 2016, the park struggled with a mere 22 factories, hampered by the challenging geographical topography of the region. However, with ongoing efforts, the area now boasts 258 operational factories, and State Minister for Investment and Privatization Evelyn Anite projects a total of 500 by the end of 2025.
The Ministry of Finance has collaborated with UK-based contractor Lagan Group Ltd, signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to further enhance infrastructure, including a fiber optic grid and a Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) network.
Additionally, plans are underway to acquire 20 acres of land for the construction of workspaces dedicated to small and medium enterprises (SMEs), a sewerage network, and a waste treatment system.
During a facility tour, Finance Minister Matia Kasaija cautioned against land procurement without clearance from the National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) to avoid potential legal disputes with the local community.
Despite the progress, some challenges persist. Mr. Martin Ssentongo, operating a seed production storage facility, highlights the impact of delayed park completion on transportation due to road conditions. Paul Kato, a worker at a medical gloves production plant, notes persistent power outages affecting operations.
In 2019, the government secured a trillion Shillings loan from the UK Government to finance the Namanve Industrial Park development. Delays in the project completion, initially set for 2023, were attributed to the incompetence of the Owner’s Engineer consortium. The government subsequently terminated their contract.
The ongoing construction phase of the Namanve Project employs over 25,000 individuals in the short term and is projected to create more than 200,000 jobs once fully operational. Beyond job creation, the industrial park aims to contribute to import substitution, boost exports, and add value to locally available raw materials.
Covering 2,209 acres along the Kampala-Jinja highway, the Namanve Industrial Park, also known as the Kampala Industrial and Business Park (KIBP), is the largest industrial park in Uganda.
Established in 1991, it is one of 25 Industrial & Business Parks developed by the Uganda Investment Authority to stimulate job growth, facilitate land accessibility for investments, introduce new research and technologies, and enhance Uganda’s revenue base.
The flagship industrial park, created by an Act of Parliament in 1997, is operated by the Uganda Investment Authority, serving as the primary investment promotion agency for both domestic and foreign investors.