CHINA TO FUND DEVELOPMENT OF UGANDA’S TORORO MINING PROJECT

KAMPALA, July 18 — Ugandan Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi says the government is encouraging foreign direct investment (FDI) after discovering commercial quantities of minerals, oil and gas deposits which may enable the country to attain middle-income status within the next three years.

“We have induced an environment that is fully supportive of foreign direct investment, and we feel we are valued partners because Africa’s voice is beginning to be heard internationally in the quest for development,” he said when a delegation from the China-Africa Development Fund, the largest Chinese private equity fund which focuses on stimulating and facilitating Chinese investments in Africa, called on him at his office here.

The fund will finance the proposed 620 million US dollar mining project in Osukuru Hills in Tororo district, being undertaken by a Chinese company, Guangzhou Dongsong Energy Group, which is prospecting for base metals, phosphates and uranium on 26-square-kilometre area covering 14 villages.

According to a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office here Thursday, Mbabazi said Tororo had the second largest phosphate deposits in Africa, with exploitation estimated to last 35 years.

Under the project, the Chinese company will produce 300,000 tonnes each of fertilizer and steel annually, establish a 200,000-tonne annual capacity sulfuric acid plant and also build a five-megawatt power plant in the area.

Mbabazi commended China for standing by Uganda, saying the country was an example to Africa in its revolutionary struggles against foreign domination.

Lu Qingcheng, the vice-president of the China-Africa Development Fund, who led the eight-member delegation, said the fund, which was founded in 2006 by former Chinese president Hu Jintao, is a channel for sustainable Sino-Africa co-operation.

“My visit has cemented my confidence in the project as one of the key investments towards Vision 2040 that will drive Chinese partnerships,” said Lu, who added that he was impressed with the scale of the Tororo project.

Guangzhou Dongsong Energy Group specialises in infrastructure development, manufacturing and agriculture value addition.

SOURCE: NEW VISION

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