President Museveni observed that due to lack of exposure, some government officials make slow decisions about development projects while others delay projects out of corruption and which affects the economic growth of the country.
“I am going to be harsh on government officials. People slow down things because they do not know how the modern world works. Those who delay projects out of corruption will not be tolerated,” he warned. He made the remarks yesterday after touring the 2.5 square mile Liao Shen Namukenkera Industrial Park in Kapeeka, Nakaseke district.
He said that in spite of the confusion of government officials and their lack of knowledge about how things work in the modern world, Uganda has continued to grow with his guidance.
“After working with the Members of Parliament of 2006 and putting emphasis on infrastructure development, Uganda is now exporting more to Kenya. In 1986, Kenya was selling to Uganda merchandise worth US$200 million while Uganda was selling to Kenya goods worth US$12 million; but now Uganda is selling to Kenya goods worth US$700 million to Kenya while Kenya is selling to us merchandise worth US$500 million,” he said.
Museveni said that as a result of focusing on infrastructure development, a recent study by the US-based Harvard University Center for International Development predicted that Uganda would be one of the fastest growing economies by 2025. He called for more entrepreneurs to invest in different industries in the country.
“We need investments in industrial grade starch for pharmaceutical and beverages industries so that our industries stop importing expensive starch from India,” he said.
Mr. Museveni thanked Gen. Salim Saleh who is Director of the Operation Wealth Creation (OWC), for his commitment, initiative and imagination that has made Namukenkera become a small industrial city. He noted that as a young man, Gen. Saleh always showed commitment and initiative whenever he was given an assignment
Gen. Saleh said he is committed to have 10 functional industries in the park by the end of the 2018 and that he was ready to work with other districts to construct more industrial parks to enable people get jobs and improve their household incomes.
Mr. Zhang Hao, Chairman of Liao Shen Industrial Park, thanked President Museveni and the NRM Government for the support to develop the industrial parks. He said the park would create 15,000 jobs for Ugandans when completed.
Earlier, the President launched the CURAD /RAH (Rural Agricultural Hub), a joint public-private partnership venture that aims at producing innovative young entrepreneurs and agribusiness leaders to champion productivity and profitability of the agricultural enterprises that can spinoff new enterprises.
According to Mr. Seggawa Apollo, who is Managing Director of the venture the Shs.1.6 billion factory will provide technical support, equipment, marketing and product development to different Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) to promote commercial agriculture in the country.
Later, the President launched the Logistic Hub and E-voucher Servicing Centre. The center works with the OWC and NAADS programmes to provide genuine inputs such as seeds, machinery and fertilizers.
Mr. Museveni also visited the US$5 million YAHE International Investment Co. Ltd that covers 10 acres of factory buildings and food processing equipment including maize silos, grain storage and deep agro-processing including wine brewing and fodder processing.
He later visited the US$30 million Goodwill (Uganda) Ceramics factory that is dedicated to the production of building materials such as tiles and employs 2000 people.
He was conducted on a tour of Ho and Mu Food Technology Co. Ltd, a US$ 10 million investment that sits on 10 acres of land. It is a modern factory with dozens of large-scale food processing equipment. It is capable of processing 50 tons of fresh fruit daily.
When fully operational, the company is expected to employ over 350 Ugandans.