June 19— Chinese business people are going to invest $265 million in Uganda’s public transport, beef industry and build an exhibition centre on the outskirts of the capital, Kampala.
Over the weekend, President Yoweri Museveni witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for construction of the East African-China Manufacturing, Trade and Exhibition Centre, an abattoir in South Western Uganda and a project to develop the Kampala Metropolitan Rapid Bus Transport system. Also present at State House, Entebbe, was the Chinese Ambassador to Uganda, Zheng Zhugiang.
The MOU was signed by Joy Kabatsi, the State Minister for Animal Industry on behalf of the government and Wang Shujun, the CEO of East Africa International Trade Company, along with Lijun He, the Executive Director of Wanton Think Tank.
The centre which will cost over $200 million is to be built in Bugolobi, a Kampala suburb, while the abattoir project worth $25 million will serve one of Uganda’s top cattle rearing regions.
The proposed abattoir is expected to handle over 200 cows per day for beef production. The KMRBT is an initial investment of $40 million, involving 26 bus stations and six bus terminals. Kampala public transport is presently dominated by privately owned mini-buses whose services remain a source of debate.
As a prominent cattle-keeper, President Museveni was quick to tout Uganda’s potential as a major beef producer the benefits of the proposed abattoir. Today, most of the animals are ferried by road frequently in the most terrible conditions, for slaughter in Kampala over 200 kilometres away.
“The country’s projected cattle stock is projected to be 24 million up from the current 14 million. The cattle feed on natural pastures and 20% of the 14 million are sold for slaughter per annum. I am sure that if artificial feeding is introduced, production will also increase due to rapid growth. For that project, I can assure you of constant supply,” he said.
He said, “Uganda needs to concentrate on promotion of beef exports, because the current trend is that beef is largely for the internal market. I want to assure you that land for growing up the export of beef will be availed by the Government of Uganda.”
President Museveni also told the Chinese delegation that there are other areas in which to invest including tourism, solar power generation as well as coffee and cocoa processing.
The Chinese visitors requested the government to establish a coordinating committee to enable investors coordinate with the line Ministries and other relevant groups aiming at realizing high efficiency and progress.