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Industry, service sectors key to prosperity, says Museveni

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Tian Tang chairman Paul Zhang (L) applauds President Museveni (2nd R) and the First Lady Janet Museveni (R) after commissioning Tian Tang factory on Monday. PHOTO by STEPHEN WANDERA 

By ISMAIL MUSA LADU

Posted  Wednesday, July 16  2014 at  01:00

In Summary

Quoted. President says agriculture is not as rewarding as industries.

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KAMPALA.

The industry and service sectors are the only drivers that will deliver the country to economic prosperity, President Museveni has said.
While commissioning the Tian Tang’s Shs80 billion plant on Monday, the President said not even agriculture, where the majority of Ugandans derive livelihood from, can propel the population to economic prosperity.
He said: “This man (Mr Paul Zhang, the Group chairman) bought 33 acres of land this year and it will generate him more than $55million (about Shs145 billion) of wealth by close of the same year.”
He continued: “If he had planted potatoes on this land, how much would he get? I know we need potatoes and the Ankole cows but industries are much more important and rewarding than our potatoes and yams.”
Speaking about Tian Tang Group, one of the largest steel and mattress manufacturers in East Africa, the President said beside their contribution to job creation (currently employing more than 1,000 with 95 per cent being Ugandans) and tax contribution, which is in a range of nearly Shs5 billion, he referred to them as teachers who Ugandans should learn from.
Mr Zhang said in addition to the 1,000 people employed directly, another 10,000 people are employed in the distribution and product network across the country.
He said 30 per cent of the products manufactured here are exported to South Sudan, DR Congo, Rwanda and Burundi. Major exports are steel products, mattresses and ply wood products.
The group is also involved in real estate, hotel, security, and mining with the next project being a fresh juice and foods processing plant.
The President has directed that land be allocated to them anywhere they want in the country to have that investment up and running.

iladu@ug.nationmedia.com