Mbale foam factory to create 700 jobs

Friday October 30 2020
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State Minister for Investment (in the middle), Ms Evelyn Anite, displays some of the play mats manafuctured by Grace Foam (U) Ltd at Mbale Industrial Park. PHOTO/FRED WAMBEDE

By Fred Wambede

However, Grace Foam (U) Ltd  at Mbale Industrial Park is extected to provide 700 jobs.

To expedite the process, Daily Monitor understands that the President, who is seeking re-election in next year’s polls, instructed Investment Minister Evelyn Anite to ensure investors open factories in Mbale and other cities or towns across the country, get a 10-year tax break, among other incentives.

The government through Uganda Investment Authority has prioritised investments in 27 industrial parks across Uganda to support industrialisation needed in job creation.

Mr Paul Zhang, the chairperson of Mbale Industrial Park, said they are working with the Finance ministry officials to establish 60 factories on a 619-acre Mbale Industrial Park, with a total investment portfolio of $600m.

This was revealed by Ms Anite on Wednesday as she commissioned the Grace Foam Mattress Factory, a multi-billion plant, which also manufactures kids’ foam play mats in Mbale Industrial Park.

“We are working with our Chinese friends to create 20,000 jobs in Mbale Industrial Park. We have also introduced a 10-year tax holiday window to support serious investors do business in the country and create jobs for our people, especially the youth. These industrial parks will add value to locally available raw materials and create jobs for the youth,” Ms Anite said.

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She added: “The various incentives in place and the existence of BUBU policy will go a long way to securing market presence for products in Uganda.”  

Mbale Industrial Park was commissioned by President Museveni in 2018 and currently employs 700 people and houses eight factories.

The minister recognised Mr Zhang for his contribution towards the industrialisation.

In addition to boosting local production, the minister said factories in Mbale Industrial Park and other parks across the country, have also significantly reduced Uganda’s import Bill.

Ms Anite also warned politicians, especially incumbents to stop blackmailing investors to fund their campaigns.

“I want to warn the politicians to keep away from the gates of Mbale Industrial Park. They should stop putting the investors under pressure for money for their political issues,” she said.

About the factory

Grace Foam (U) Ltd, which is currently sitting on 15 acres of land, is now one of the five factories at the park. The factory will deal in the manufacture of foam play mats and executive spring mattresses, among other textile products, for both hotel and domestic use.

The factory is expected to create more than 700 job opportunities to Ugandans.

Mr Owen Jin, the deputy general manager, Sino Uganda-Mbale Industrial Park, said the factory has production output capacity of 1.5 million foam play mats and one million executive spring mattresses, annually.

“Production of these products will be done in phases and the first production line includes production of play mats and mattresses,” he said, adding that second phase will include manufacturing of other textile products for both hotel and household use.

The other four factories in the park include Pearlight Technology, which manufactures bulbs, and Ubon Technology, which produces powder.

Others are Victorial Cable Limited manufacturing cables and Kyoga Capital Textile Limited, which is producing stockings. Other eight factories are still under construction.

The minister told Daily Monitor that “more than 200 jobs out of the 700 jobs have so far been created by this new factory.”

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