Uganda Free Zones Authority Gets First Board of Directors

Comments 3920 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
The board, which is appointed by the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, is headed by Eng. Frederick Kiwanuka, the Technical Director of Kiwanuka and Partners Limited and is deputized by Dr. Margaret Banga, a lecturer at the Institute of Statistics and Applied Economics.

The first ever board of the Uganda Free Zones Authority (UFZA) has been inaugurated.

The board, which is appointed by the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, is headed by Eng. Frederick Kiwanuka, the Technical Director of Kiwanuka and Partners Limited and is deputized by Dr. Margaret Banga, a lecturer at the Institute of Statistics and Applied Economics.

The other members are Lawrence Byensi, a director at Uganda Investment Authority, Baker Magaino from Uganda Land Commission, Cleophas Ndoreire from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives and Stella Nyapendi from Uganda Revenue Authority.

The authority was set up in September 2014 but its operations have been hampered by the lack of funding since it had no budgetary allocations then. It has since been catered for under the 2014/15 supplementary budget although it still lacked a board.

 A free zone is a geographic area where raw materials and goods may be landed, handled, manufactured or reconfigured for export without being subjected to export and import duties.

A free zone can take the form of a manufacturing or processing facility, a science and technology parks or even a tourism development zone. The idea is to encourage productivity and value addition in order to boost exports.

In his maiden speech, the new board chair Fredrick Kiwanuka said Uganda is full of potential that needs to be aggressively marketed.

The Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development Matia Kasaija said the free zones should help in increasing production for exports so that the ever widening trade deficit, that currently stands at 3.5 trillion Shillings can be reduced.

The minister tasked the board to attract investments that will produce on a massive scale, add value to local products, champion product diversification and create jobs for Ugandans, especially the youth.

Kasaija warned the UFZA board and management against long bureaucratic processes, poor labour practices, poor quality of goods produced and degradation of the environment. He also pledged support for the authority to enable it succeed in the execution of its mandate.

The opportunity to create free zones in Uganda is provided for under the Free Zones Act of 2014, which also created the Uganda Free Zones Authority (UFZA).

The authority is responsible for the establishment, development, management, marketing, supervision and control of free zones. It is a semi-autonomous government agency under Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development.

 

About the author

David Rupiny
In his own words, David Rupiny says, "I am literally a self-trained journalist with over 12 years of experience. Add the formative, student days then I can trace my journalism roots to 1988 when as a fresher in Ordinary Level I used to report for The Giraffe News at St Aloysius College Nyapea in northern Uganda.


In addition to URN for which I have worked for five years now, I have had stints at Radio Paidha, Radio Pacis, Nile FM and KFM. I have also contributed stories for The Crusader, The New Vision and The Monitor. I have also been a contributor for international news organisations like the BBC and Institute for War and Peace Reporting. I am also a local stringer for Radio Netherlands Worldwide.


I am also a media entrepreneur. I founded The West Niler newspaper and now runs Rainbow Media Corporation (Rainbow Radio 88.2 FM in Nebbi). My areas of interest are conflict and peacebuilding, business, climate change, health and children and young people, among others."

Comments