On 30th January 2021, Hon. Maria Kasaija, the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, representing His Excellence Yoweri K. Museveni, the President of the Republic of Uganda, commissioned the construction of the first Public Free Zone in Uganda at Entebbe International Airport adjacent to the Cargo Terminal.
The UGX 47 Billion investment is a flagship Project which is fully funded by the Government of Uganda and complements other national projects such as; the Entebbe Express Highway, Uganda Airlines and the on-going expansion of the Entebbe International Airport. The Project will directly contribute to the achievement of NDP III, and the NRM Manifesto of 2021-2026.
On completion, the Free Zone will house seven (7) production units and a Trade house that will host offices of UFZA, URA and other Government offices to facilitate smooth flow of business in the Zone. The facility will have firms engaged in high value mineral processing activities, light manufacturing and agro-processing for export through Entebbe International Airport. This will:
- generate an additional US$13.4 million in capital investment;
- create over 200 direct jobs;
- realise export earnings of over US$4.02 million per annum increasing the volumes of goods exported through the Entebbe International Airport; and
- generate UGX108.3 billion in direct revenues within 15-years of operation.
The proposed sectors for the project include: food processing (agro-processing), mineral processing, warehousing, storage, simple assembly, etc. All Operators in this Public Free Zone will process their products for onward export through Entebbe International Airport.
On 23rd September 2020, UFZA handed over the site of five (5) acres of land to National Enterprise Corporation (NEC), to embark on the initial phase of construction of the Free Zone in Uganda. The Supervising consultant is Oubuntu Consulting Limited in association with Kkatt Consult Limited.
The Authority is mandated to spearhead and oversee the establishment, development, management, marketing, maintenance, supervision and control of Free Zones and other related matters.
Free Zones are customs-controlled areas where goods introduced into the designated area are generally regarded so far as import duties are concerned as being outside the Customs territory. The Free Zones are schemes set up by Government to boost export-oriented investment.