Explore new markets in DRC, South Sudan - minister advises contractors

Thursday July 11 2019

Unveiling. Works State Minister Katumba Wamala

Unveiling. Works State Minister Katumba Wamala (L) and Mr Harem Farouk the Mantrac managing director unveil a road constriction earth mover in Kampala. PHOTO BY STEPHEN OTAGE 

By Stephen Otage

State Ministry for Works Edward Katumba Wamala has asked contractors in Uganda to form partnerships to explore other markets, especially in DR Congo and South Sudan.
Speaking during a Mantrac Open Day, Gen Katumba, said Uganda’s construction space had become of age, advising contractors to take advantage of upcoming projects that government is negotiating with South Sudan and eastern DR Congo.
“If we opened the road from Mpondwe to Kisangani, this will be a game changer. These people look at Uganda like their Dubai. We have projects coming up in South Sudan to build roads,” he said, noting that the Chinese companies, which are currently doing construction projects in Uganda have been pooling resources together to mobilise enough equipment to execute large projects.
“We have roads which are currently due for repairs, should we call Chinese to do the repairs as if local companies cannot do that job?” he wondered.
Last week, Mantrac Uganda unveiled new road construction equipment, which according to Mr Hatem Farouk, the company’s managing director, will improve efficiency.
The new equipment, he said has been fitted with improved fuel and operational efficiencies thus enabling users to save 45 per cent in operational costs. A number of companies have criticized government for failure to give local contractors an opportunity to grow their capacity.