KOBOKO. The State Minister of Investment and Privatization Ms Evelyn Anite has urged the officials of the Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) to consider expediting the process of constructing Oraba Industrial Park which lies at the Ugandan border with South Sudan and DR Congo.
Anite made the appeal during a visit to the 193 acres piece of land designated for the Industrial park in Kuluba sub-county, Koboko district on Saturday.
The minister was in the company of a team from UIA, officials from the National Planning Authority (NPA), Koboko district and municipality leaders to kick-start the process of feasibility study on the titled land in the villages of Ropoli, Lokajo, Drabara and Kakanya in Oraba parish.
During the visit, Anite tasked the UIA and NPA officials to first track the process of constructing the Industrial park in a bid to create employment opportunities for the locals in the area.
“I have brought you here to immediately start doing the mark stones and feasibility study. We didn’t come here for a function but to work and the work must start now,” Anite directed.
“For us, we have finished the politics bit of it and now it is time for work and that is why the team of technical officials from UIA and NPA are here. We have to move on a speed neck way because we don’t have time,” Anite added.
She stressed that Oraba Industrial park is one of the 22 Industrial Parks she was tasked to establish across the country in a bid to attract more investors and create jobs for Ugandans.
Anite explained that Oraba is strategically located and once completed, its products will have abundant market both locally and across the borders in DR Congo, South Sudan and the Central African Republic.
“We shall produce sunflower cooking oil from Oraba Industrial Park, establish a textile factory here since our land is very fertile for cotton growing. Another factory we shall put at Oraba Industrial Park is that of biscuits and assembling motorcycles because we have realized that a lot of motorcycles are imported,” Anite explained.
Anite revealed that she has already talked to Investors from Thailand who are interested in coming to establish a soap manufacturing factory at Oraba.
She said all these ventures will create jobs for the locals especially the idle youths in the district and other parts of the West Nile region.
But in his remarks, Dr Emely Kugonza, the UIA Board Chairperson said: “Hon. Minister and members of Koboko and particularly the people of Oraba, I’m here to assure you that we are here for work; we are here for results.”
He commended the people of Koboko for giving UIA the opportunity to establish an Industrial park at a strategic point which is going to be a herb for so many things.
Kugonza promised that Oraba Industrial Park is going to be part of the development plan of UIA.
“We have actually come here today with very clear instructions that we need to translate this from words to actions and that is why we have a team from NPA to do a pre-feasibility study. They are here to see the kind of land at Oraba, the nature of plans, possible activities among other things,” Kugonza said.
Hamza Galiwango, the Director Industrial Parks Development Division under the UIA said the planning process of Oraba Industrial Park will take for them six months to be able to design the feasibility study, the master plan, boundary opening including the environmental impact assessment.
“As soon as we have done all that, we shall then start the groundworks and that is when you will see graders on ground,” Galiwango said.
Meanwhile Hassan Nginya, the Koboko district chairperson said the local community has lost many goods meant for sale in South Sudan and DR Congo with many other people losing their lives in the process due to insecurity in those countries.
He said the establishment of Oraba Industrial Park will save the business community in Koboko and West Nile at large from the hurdles they have been facing across the borders.