On 24th January 2023, the Hon. Minister of State for Finance, Planning and Economic Development (Planning), Hon. Amos Lugoloobi visited UFZA offices to appreciate the mandate & operations of Uganda Free Zones Authority (UFZA). He met the Board of Directors, Management & Staff whom he thanked for creating opportunities for export-oriented investment in the Free Zones.
While speaking at the event, Hon. Lugoloobi recognised Free Zones as the root into the global economy given that deliberate export development is the way to go. He asked UFZA to identify value chains, capitalize on them and attract the private sector in those areas.
‘Free Zones have the potential to transform Uganda‘s economy. We must be outward looking if this country is to leap to the next level of development. Exports are the answer.’ said Hon. Lugoloobi.
The Chairman Board of Directors thanked Hon. Minister for supporting the establishment of Free Zones in Uganda. He requested government to acquire large parcels of land for development of Free Zones/Special Economic Zones in Uganda to grow exports.
While presenting the overview on the implementation of the Free Zones scheme in Uganda, the Executive Director, UFZA, Mr. Hez Kimoomi Alinda said that Free Zones are key in enhancing government’s role in strategic public Investment in purpose-built export-oriented industrial infrastructure to support competitiveness of Uganda’s manufactured goods to access regional and global markets.
He indicated that slow implementation of the Free Zones scheme will have the unintended consequence of Uganda becoming a “supermarket” of goods and services from Free Zones (EPZs, FPs & SEZs) of other countries in the EAC, the continent of Africa and globally, limiting the pace of job creation and poverty reduction.
There are 33 private Free Zones established in Uganda today and one public Free Zone under construction within the precincts of Entebbe International Airport. UFZA is a Statutory Body established by the Free Zones Act, 2014, for the purpose of creating opportunities for export-oriented investment and job creation.