President Museveni has commissioned four factories that will be producing different products at Mbale Industrial Park in Mbale District.
Among the factories that were commissioned include; Pearlight Technology, which manufactures bulbs, and Ubon Technology, which produces powder.
Others are; Victorial Cable Limited manufacturing cables and Kyoga Capital Texttile Limited, which is producing stockings.
The Park, with a total investment of more than $600M (Shs2.2 trillion), is expected to house more than 50 factories.
President Museveni said during the launch on Thursday that if construction of all factories in the Park is completed, more than 15,000 youth will be employed.
“The completed factories are employing more than 800 youth and if all factories are completed, more than 15,000 jobs will be created,” he said.
Mr Museveni also urged Ugandans to stop relying on agriculture if they are to eradicate household poverty.
“Agriculture brings us food, which is alright but there are other needs like medicine, soap, and house, among others, which cannot come from agriculture. So you cannot say we rely on only agriculture,” he said.
The president said NRM party values industrialization because it has potential to cause economic growth and development.
“This industrial park is sitting on 600 acres. If you grow cassava, you will get less money but if you put factories, we earn a lot of money than growing cassava. We also create more jobs,” Mr Museveni said.
He also described a section of squatters, who are still demanding compensation from the government over the Park land as selfish individuals.
“The squatters demanding compensation are selfish people. They think of only their stomachs. This was not even their land. It was Bugisu Cooperative Union land,” he said.
The State Minister for Privatisation and Investment, Ms Everlyn Anite, said the establishment of the factories will help to fight the import syndrome in the country.
“This will grow our economy and helps us to create employment opportunities,” she said.
Mr Paul Zhang, the chairperson of Sino-Uganda, Mbale Industrial Park, said within a period of two years, the construction of all factories will be complete.
“Within two years, the park will be complete and able to offer more than 20,000 direct and indirect jobs,” he said.
He added: “The Park will double as a major Small Medium Enterprise (SME), incubation and innovation base and an entrepreneur Centre.”
Mr Michael Werikhe, the state minister for trade said apart from creating job opportunities, the locals also be able get skills in relevant areas in order to produce and market their products.
“The locals will be able to use this as an entrepreneurship platform to empower themselves because it will support policy consultations, project planning, skills training, among other things,” he said.
The woman MP, Mbale district, Ms Connie Nakayenze Galiwango, urged the government to partner with the investors to also establish schools and a health centres in the area.
“We are happy for the factories but we also ask for schools and a health centres,” she said.
The LCV chairperson, Manafwa District, Mr John Musila also urged the investors to employ more locals instead of expatriates.