President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has ordered all government bodies in the energy sector to stop buying materials from outside Uganda with effect from 1st September,2023.
Gen Museveni who was commissioning 16 factories and groundbreaking for the construction of 9 new ones at Sino Uganda- Mbale Industrial Park in Mbale City, on Thursday said that it’s unpatriotic for government bodies like those in the power generation sector not to support local investors but instead resort to buy machinery from foreign countries.
He therefore made an order that all government bodies must buy such materials from Uganda’s factories.
“Therefore, I have ordered all government bodies to buy all these meters from Uganda starting from 1st September. The Ministry of Energy is here. The cables and the meters must be bought from our factories here and the ones in Kampala. Anybody who does not will have to go and look after his goats at home,” he ordered.
He explained that the government of Uganda has created a conducive environment that has enabled investors to come and invest in the country, therefore the same government must be one of the biggest customers to these industries if they are fully established to compete favorably at the international market.
“Many people don’t know that having a market is wealth. We have a market for Ugandans of 46 million and on that, we add the East African market of 130 million people as well as the African market of 1.5 billion people. All those people have needs which should be obtained using money from their pockets,” he said.
The President also condemned some countries which are trying to curtail the market of Ugandan products. He assured the stakeholders that the move would be hard to achieve for the critics because “Our products are of good quality and at relatively low prices”.
He also assured industrialists that the challenge of electricity will soon be history since the government is currently solving the issue.
“Otherwise, electricity is enough and we are building more dams. We are also going to construct a water channel to deal with the problem of floods that affected us last time. We are also producing more fire brigade machinery for this industrial park and helping the industrial park with the infrastructure,” he said.
He once again assured investors that the government will continue to provide them with a conducive environment that enables whoever wants to invest to come.
“That is our role. With a proper policy, everything does itself, that is why a person you least know about approaches you if they want to set up a textile factory. They do this because they know Ugandans must dress up and they have the required raw materials here needed to produce clothes. Then that’s how the government comes in to catalyze the process by providing electricity, peace, roads, and other needed infrastructure,” he added.
The Ambassador of China to Uganda H.E Zhang Liz Hong hailed the existing good relationship between China and Uganda. He said China and Uganda are working together to implement the nine programs announced by President Xi Jin Ping of China in the latest China-African Summit.
Meanwhile, Currently, the Sino Uganda-Mbale Industrial Park has 36 factories composed of; 20 factories in operation, one factory destroyed by fire, 5 factories under construction, and 12 at a stage of assembling plant and machinery.
The Mbale Industrial Park produces a variety of goods such as glass, textiles, household detergents, mobile phones, smart televisions, baby diapers, clothes, LED bulbs, tubes, electric meters, and stockings.