Communal Land Ownership Delays Industrial Parks In Northern Uganda

3232 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
A government initiative to establish industrial parks across the country in a bid to spur development has been held back in northern Uganda due to land ownership system.

A government initiative to establish industrial parks across the country in a bid to spur development has been held back in northern Uganda due to land ownership system.
 
In 2009, government announced a decision to set up at least 22 industrial and business parks in different parts of the country to boost employment creation and help add value to the raw materials existing in the respective localities. However, the plan has dragged to start in most of the areas.
 
On Thursday, Godfrey Ssemakula, the Deputy Director in charge of Land Development at Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) told Uganda Radio Network that they are experiencing difficulties in acquiring land especially in northern Uganda where land is owned communally.
 
He explained that the land tenure system practiced in northern Uganda makes it difficult to access land title, a mandatory condition, which he said UIA set for land acquisition. As a result, he said the establishment of Lira and Gulu industrial parks is awaiting land acquisition.
 
//Cue in: “In the north...
Cue out: ...has a title.”//  
 
 He added that the investment authority is required to acquire land, conduct Environmental Impact Assessment and install the necessary facilities and infrastructure such as roads, water and electricity before leasing the land to interested investors. However, investors establishing industries and other businesses in the categories of agro-processing, hotels, mineral processing and Information and Communication Technology acquire the land in the parks free of charge as part of a government incentive.
 
Despite the land ownership hindrance in northern Uganda, Ssemakula said they had succeeded in acquiring land in Soroti, Moroto, Kabarole, Mbale, Jinja and Kasese districts where he said demarcation and development of the necessary infrastructure is ongoing. He added that partial land allocation has already been done on the Industrial park land in Soroti while in Mbale; government is yet to compensate the squatters living on the land, which Bugisu Cooperative Union gave for the industrial park.
 
 Ssemakula explained that 227 investors have acquired land to set up industries at Namanve, one of the three Industrial parks in Kampala. Others are Luzira and Bweyogerere.
 
A few days ago, Ajedra Gabriel Gadison Aridru, the state minister for Investment issued a statement stopping further allocation of the land at Namanve Industrial and Business park pending a review of the previous allocations.
###