The East African Community (EAC) Secretary General Ambassador Dr. Richard Sezibera, has said Ugandan manufacturers should take advantage of the $1.5 billion that is to be spent in the construction of the East Africa’s Central Corridor.
This is a major east-west trunk route that runs through central Tanzania.
“There is a big EAC construction project for the Central Corridor that is estimated to cost $1.5 billion. The Ugandan manufacturer’s can take advantage by either participating in the construction through bidding or investing in the off-the-corridor activities that will come as a result of the project,” he said.
Sezibera was addressing the Uganda Manufacturers Association Forum organized by the East African Business Council, TradeMark East Africa (TMEA) and EAC Secretariat at Serena Hotel in Kampala. Participants were mainly company CEOs and managing directors who craft corporate direction.
He told East African Business Week he has already carried out an on-the-spot assessment of the status of the roads along the EAC Central Corridor Road Network Project which covers the Dar es Salaam-Dodoma-Isaka-Mutukula-Masaka route.
“There there are many investment opportunities that can be taken up by the private sector. Either through formation of public private partnerships (PPP) or investing in off-the project ventures that come as a result of the new projects,” he said.
He said the EAC has identified five main corridors within the community with a total length of about 12,000 kilometers which constitute a strategic priority and require rehabilitation and upgrading to complete the road network in the Community.
“Apart from the Dar es Salaam-Dodoma-Isaka-Mutukula-Masaka route, the other Corridors are; Mombasa –Malaba-Katuna Corridor; Biharamulo-Mwanza-Musoma-Sirari-Lodwar-Lokichiogio Corridor; Nyakanazi-Kasulu-Sumbawanga-Tunduma Corridor; and the Tunduma-Iringa-Dodoma-Arusha-Namanga-Moyale Corridor,” he said.
He said events like the Forum allowed for a deeper insight and a more stable platform to address key challenges affecting business at both the national and regional levels.
“Definitely this approach will allow for national level engagement between high level policy makers and the business community for easier follow up, both at the EAC Secretariat and at ministerial level at the Partner States”, Sezibera said.
He repeated the belief that manufacturing offers a wide range of opportunities in the region and the Heads of State have always expressed commitment to the development of the manufacturing and micro, small and medium enterprise sectors.
“There is need to popularize the local products, not only externally but internally as well especially now as we operationalize the East African Common Market. We need to see more campaigns towards making Ugandan products popular and more competitive in the region. If we popularize Ugandan products I believe that the manufacturing industry may grow by over 10 %,” Sezibera said.
Read more at Wast African Business Week/