Uganda Free Economic Zone Starts Early 2016

1857 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Mohammed Omar, the Director of Legal and Corporate Affairs at Uganda Free Zones Authority says a Turkish agro-processing firm, ASB Group, has already been licensed to setup a beef exporting free zone in Kaweweta in Nakaseke district.

Uganda is expected to get its first free economic zone in early 2016, according to the Uganda Free Zones Authority.

Mohammed Omar, the Director of Legal and Corporate Affairs at Uganda Free Zones Authority, speaking in an interview with Uganda Radio Network, revealed that a Turkish agro-processing firm, ASB Group, has already been licensed to setup a beef exporting free zone in Kaweweta in Nakaseke district.
Omar says two to three other free zones are planned for Masaka and Kampala in the near future.
 
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Omar says under the Authority's strategic plan, the country should have 10 free zones across the country in the next five years.

He says each region of Uganda is planned to have one or two free zones. He reveals that land has already been acquired in Kasese and Soroti.
 A free zone is a designated area where goods and services introduced and produced are generally regarded as being outside the customs territory and are exempted from taxes.

Omar says the country will benefit in terms of employment, knowledge and technologies form the free zones.
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Omar argues that free economic zones offer solutions to Uganda's export promotion and bringing in of much needed foreign exchange as well as other economic benefits like boosting agriculture and household incomes.
 
The goods produced are for exports, but the law also provides that 20 percent of the goods can be sold locally and these attract taxes like other goods not produced in free zones.
 
Uganda lags behind other East African Community members in the operation of free zones. Kenya has had free zones for 22 years, Tanzania for 13 years and Rwanda for eight years now.

 

About the author

David Rupiny
In his own words, David Rupiny says, "I am literally a self-trained journalist with over 12 years of experience. Add the formative, student days then I can trace my journalism roots to 1988 when as a fresher in Ordinary Level I used to report for The Giraffe News at St Aloysius College Nyapea in northern Uganda.


In addition to URN for which I have worked for five years now, I have had stints at Radio Paidha, Radio Pacis, Nile FM and KFM. I have also contributed stories for The Crusader, The New Vision and The Monitor. I have also been a contributor for international news organisations like the BBC and Institute for War and Peace Reporting. I am also a local stringer for Radio Netherlands Worldwide.


I am also a media entrepreneur. I founded The West Niler newspaper and now runs Rainbow Media Corporation (Rainbow Radio 88.2 FM in Nebbi). My areas of interest are conflict and peacebuilding, business, climate change, health and children and young people, among others."