UK trade envoy to invest £2.5bn in Uganda’s industrial parks

UK Trade Envoy to Uganda Lord Dolar Popat and other officials during a working visit at Namanve industrial park. Photo/ Roland Nasasira

The UK trade envoy to Uganda, Lord Dolar Popat has committed to raise investment in Uganda’s industrial parks from £500m to £2.5bn in the next five years.

Mr Popat made the revelation during a working visit to Uganda at Kampala Industrial and Business Park, Namanve while checking on the progress of works.

“I am pleased to say that we have £500m available to Uganda and we will raise it to £2.5bn to support Uganda achieve its target of setting up five industrial parks each year for the next five years. We will support Uganda through Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) as long as we complete this park (Namanve) to be a good role model for us. We are committed to investing in Uganda because it is my country of birth,” Mr Popat said.  

The development of infrastructure at Kampala Industrial Business Park commenced in July 2020 with Lagan Dott Namanve Limited as the engineering, procurement construction contractor.

According to Robert Mukiza, the director general UIA, the current physical progress of the project stands at approximately 17 percent as opposed to the expected progress of 28 percent yet the time elapsed is 35.7 percent.

With the road designs for the North and South A estates complete, construction commenced on May 1 2021. However, it has been slow due to a number of contractual hurdles that have had to be navigated, coupled with hindrances to mobilization efforts occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic and the lockdown.

“The project’s financial progress stands at 12.4 percent for Lagan Dott Namanve Limited and 10 percent for the owner’s engineer majorly due to a draw stop by UK Export Finance on all pending invoices and the lack of funding for the Owner’s Engineer’s fees,” Mr Mukiza said.

Once complete, it is estimated that Namanve industrial park will contribute one percent of Uganda’s Gross Domestic Product.