FOREIGN FIRMS VIE TO DEVELOP LAND OF UGANDA’S MAKERERE UNIVERSITY

KAMPALA, July 28 – Chinese and South Korean companies are among 12 firms which have expressed interest in developing idle land in the Ugandan capital belonging to Makerere University as the country’s oldest public university seeks to diversify its revenue basket.

The university has declined to reveal the names of the firms, on grounds that it was against procurement guidelines at the institution.

Earlier this year, Makerere issued an advertisement in the media, calling on firms, both local and foreign, to develop the university’s land, through Public-Private-Partnerships (PPPs).

The pieces of university land being promoted for development are located in different parts of the Makerere estate — the Main Campus, Katalemwa, Makindye, Bwaise, Kabanyolo and Kololo.

Owing to the huge size of the project, it has been named the “Makerere University Infrastructure Development Marshall Plan”.

Makerere University reserves the right to determine what is built on its land; meaning, the firms will play to the tune of the university. Facilities to be built at university through PPPs include a Teaching Hospital, Students’ Resource Centre, Students Hostels at the Main Campus and Kabanyolo, a University Hotel and Convention Centre, and a Centre for Innovation and Technology Incubation.

The others are a perimeter fence inclusive of commercial buildings, a transport hub, middle income apartments, luxury apartments, a Centre for Gender and Development Studies, and a facility at the School of Law.

Construction is set to kick off at the end of this year. According to Dr. Florence Nakayiwa, the Director of Planning and Development Department (PDD) at Makerere University, the 12 firms which have expressed interest to develop the institution’s land comprise building companies and transaction advisers.

“We are glad that the market is receptive to this call. We have now asked them to undertake feasibility studies of the different projects and report back by September 2014. We are optimistic that ground works will begin as soon as we have all the appropriate processes in place,” said Nakayiwa.

Prof. John Ddumba-Ssentamu, the Makerere University Vice-Chancellor, said the project offered the university the ultimate means to expand its constrained resource base.

“One of our major resources is land and we shall fully utilize it for all the projects. We would like to start with the perimeter wall, Students’ Centre, and the Hotel as a priority but this will also depend on the interests of the investors,“ he said.

SOURCE: NEW VISION

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