The Kisoro Industrial and Business Park was commissioned by the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development Matia Kasaija during the Kigezi Investment Summit that was organized by Uganda Investment Authority (UIA).
The function was held this past Saturday at Kibaya in Rukundo Town Council, Kisoro District, and attracted various stakeholders including investors, government ministries, departments and agencies and leaders of districts in the region.
The Kisoro Industrial and Business Park sits on 620 acres of land offered to the Uganda Investment Authority by Kisoro District, in response to the Presidential directive that local governments offer unencumbered land to UIA for regional industrial development.
The industrial park is strategically located along the Uganda-Rwanda-Democratic Republic of Congo border, along the Mombasa-Kampala-Goma trade route, and right in an agricultural setting.
Minister Kasaija, who was the chief guest, said the government will do all it can to support the establishment of the Kisoro industrial park as well as others.
State Minister for Privatisation and Investment Evelyn Anite, thanked the people of Kisoro for being the first to offer land for industrial park development.
She revealed that Lagan Management is starting a pro-bono feasibility study for the industrial park immediately and that the group will also tarmac the seven-kilometer road leading to the park.
Minister Anite said UIA has now earmarked the 25 industrial and business parks to be established across Uganda in the next five years.
She also revealed that UIA has been merged with Uganda Free Zones Authority in order to improve effectiveness and efficiency in the quest for industrial development.
The State Minister of Finance (General Duties) Henry Musasizi, said the establishment of the regional industrial park is meant to spread industrial development and jobs closer to the people.
He said investors in the park will receive government incentives.
The State Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, also Kisoro Woman MP Sarah Mateke said when one invests in Kisoro one cannot go wrong, citing abundant raw materials and access to strategic markets in the Great Lakes region. She said the area is safe and secure for investment.
The Chair of the Board of UIA, Morrison Rwakakamba, said the authority is keen on promoting investment in priority sectors like agriculture, agro-processing, manufacturing, tourism, ICT, mineral beneficiation, education, etc.
The Director General of UIA, Robert Mukiza, said the authority’s vision for the industrial park is that its products will target both the Ugandan and regional markets.
“The markets are there, we encourage investors in value addition to come and set up shop here and exploit the vast Great Lakes Region market”, Mukiza said.
Kisoro Resident District Commissioner, Shafik Sekandi, said Kisoro is a thriving border and tourism town which makes the industrial park viable.
The Kisoro District Chairperson, Alex Bizimana, said the industrial park will be used as a platform for diffusion of innovative investments, adding that the park will have access to raw materials, labour and market, both local and regional.
Bizimana said key resources of Kisoro include minerals like wolfram, iron ore, gold and limestone, agricultural products like highland coffee, tea, Irish potatoes, sweet potatoes, beans, as well as a people who are honest, hardworking and dedicated.
The Kisoro Industrial and Business Park becomes the second to be launched by UIA within six months, the first being Nebbi, launched in April 2022.
UIA has a Presidential directive to establish 25 industrial parks in five years.