The Sino-Uganda Mbale Industrial Park Continues To Expand

Sixteen new factories were inaugurated in August.

By Sneha A on
12th September 2023

Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni has officially inaugurated 16 new factories within the Sino-Uganda Mbale Industrial Park in Mbale city, eastern Uganda.

The president also performed the groundbreaking for an additional nine factories at the ceremony on 25 August. 

The Mbale industrial park is being developed over an area of 2.5 square kilometres under a public-private partnership between China and Uganda. The development is being led by China’s Tian Tang Group, which has mobilised a consortium of eight Chinese companies to invest in the park.

The Mbale industrial park is being developed in three phases. It is hoped that 40 companies will ultimately set up operations there, representing a total investment of US$600 million and achieve an annual output value of US$1.5 billion and annual export volumes worth US$400 million.

The Ugandan government has prioritised the development of industrial parks as a key strategic area in its Vision 2040 programme, which aims to turn the country into a modern, industrialised and prosperous nation.

President Museveni gave an update on the development of industrial parks during his State of the Nation address in June. He said Uganda has eight government-owned industrial parks that are currently operational. These include:

  • The UK Export Finance-funded US$263.7 million Kampala Industrial and Business Park (IBP) spread across 8.9 sq km at Namanve in the capital city Kampala, with 125 factories operational, 144 under construction and 106 at the planning stage; 
  • The US$355,217 Luzira IBP spread across 0.28 sq km in Kampala with 11 factories operational; 
  • The US$2 million Bweyogerere IBP spread across 0.2 sq km in south-central Uganda with eight factories operational; 
  • The US$6.3 million Soroti IBP spread across 0.9 sq km in eastern Uganda with two factories operational and five at the construction stage; 
  • The Sino-Uganda Mbale IBP; 
  • The US$9 million Jinja IBP spread across 0.7 sq km east of Kampala with one factory for assembling electric buses operational; 
  • The US$3.8 million Mbarara IBP spread across 0.05 sq km in western Uganda with 11 small-scale enterprises (SMEs) and 35 workspaces occupied; 
  • The US$7.9 million Kasese IBP spread across 0.87 sq km in western Uganda where one factory is operational and five are under construction. 

The president stated that the Koboko (US$7.9 million; 0.8 sq km) and Karamoja/Moroto (US$14.3 million; 1.7 sq km industrial parks, located in northwestern and northeastern Uganda respectively, would be commissioned soon. 

Industrial parks in Uganda
Industrial Parks In Uganda
Source: Uganda Investment Authority

In addition, there are three industrial parks operating under a PPP arrangement in central Uganda:  China's Zhang Group runs the Liao Shen IBP in Nakaseke district with 17 factories operational; the local MMP Group manages the MMP IBP in Buikwe district with six factories operational; and Tian Tang Group runs the Tian Tang IBP in Mukono district with four factories operational. 

"The total capital investment within the industrial parks so far is US$ 2.93 billion and 98,263 direct jobs created with many more indirect jobs," said the president in his June speech. "In total, 226 factories are operating within the industrial parks while 303 factories are either under construction or the planning stage. The development of industrial parks is one of the vehicles for socio-economic transformation, with the projected creation of 2.5 million jobs in the next five years."

The government is also hoping to set up four regional science and technology parks spread across 2 sq km at a total cost of US$20.9 million in Kamuli (eastern region), Pakwach (northern region), Rubirizi (western region) and Kyankwanzi (central region). 

Uganda National Industrial Parks Development Strategy
Uganda National Industrial Parks Development Strategy, July 2021 Status Report
Source: Uganda Investment Authority

Top photo: Opening factories at the Sino-Uganda Mbale Industrial Park (Source: Twitter/X @KagutaMuseveni)

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