Koboko District Local Council in West Nile, north west Uganda has offered about 180 acres of land to the Uganda Free Zone Authority (UFZA). The land is meant for a new Special Economic Zone.
According to the Executive Director of the Authority Richard Jabo establishing a special zone in Kiboko will help Uganda to increase the export of goods. This is because Koboko is a strategic district in terms of cross-border trade between Uganda and neighboring countries like the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan.
“Koboko district is a every strategic location as it boarders south Sudan and Congo which are among the major exports destination of Uganda’s products. By establishing this zone we expect to increase on our volume of products exported in these two countries.” Jabo said in a statement.
Available statistics reveal that Uganda’s exports to the two countries in the financial year 2014/2015 stood at US$ 473 million.
The offer by the district government follows a business trip to Koboko by top officials from the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Internal Affairs and officers from the Free Zone Authority.
According to the Free Zone Authority the delegation was headed by two Ministers that of state for Investment Gabriel Ajedrah and that of state for Internal Affairs James Baba who are both from the same region (West Nile) .
Minister James Baba said that the idea of turning Koboko into an Industrialized zone was developed three years ago by the district Council but they have been waiting for Government Agencies which can implement their plan.
“Koboko District is considered as one of those well placed districts in Uganda because of its strategic location that is why, therefore, with the support of the local community it offered land to the Ministry of Finance for investments which was later Introduced to UFZA.” The Minister was quoted as having said in the statement.
The land which was offered to UFZA is located 2.2 kilometres off the Oraba highway on Podika road however it’s total value is was not yet known by press time.
The Head of Government Business in the district, Gabriel Rogers Bwayo told the visitors that people in the region want to industrialise as soon as possible.