Import substitution slowly taking  shape, says Anite

The Modern Tiles factory, according to Ms Evelyn Anite, will manufacture 40,000 square metres of tiles per day. Photo / Courtesy 

What you need to know:

  • According to Mr Evelyn Anite, through import substitution, Uganda can now save at least $78m (Shs297.4b), which has been going to importing  tiles. 

Finance State Minister for Privatization and Investment Evelyn Anite has said Uganda’s import substitution agenda is slowly beginning to take shape.

Speaking during the launch of the Modern Tiles factory in Njeru, Buikwe District on Tuesday, Ms Anite said the country would save at least $78m (Shs297.4b), which Ugandans have been spending on importing  tiles.  

Uganda, she said, currently spends $150m (Shs571.9b) on the import of tiles, however, the figure will substantially reduce due to the new factory, which she indicated will manufacture 40,000 square metres of tiles per day. 

“The first challenge is that they [investors] wasted six months on land which was located in a wetland. Some unscrupulous people sold them a wetland. When they came to my office, I told them quite frankly that they had been conned. There was no way that land in a wet wetland could be titled,” Ms Anite said, noting that investor should be helped instead of being conned. 

However, she said, the biggest challenge would be finding the market for the tiles but that has been helped by the introducing of a 25 percent tariff on imported tiles. 

At the same function, President Museveni said Ugandans have in the past supported imported ceramic materials from foreign factories, creating employment for outsiders yet many Ugandans lack jobs, urging government agencies to make it easier for investors who come to Uganda to create jobs. 

For now, he said, manufacturers are addressing the issue of ceramic tiles but will in the future deal with other problems such as steel given that Uganda has got good iron ore in Muko, Butogota and Tororo, among other places.

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