Uganda puts limits to land speculation

KAMPALA, Uganda – Uganda Investment Authority (UIA) has developed tougher rules for acquisition of land in industrial parks.

This is to limit the temptation to speculate on public land to the disadvantage of potential investors looking for locations.

The UIA new rules have already been approved by the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets Authority (PPDA).

UIA will receive applications for land allocation throughout the year and each application will be evaluated in accordance with the set guidelines.

According to Gabriel Ajedra, the state minister for investment, all investors must use the UIA Form 2 with detailed project proposal showing business activity and main products or services to be produced on the land applied for.

“They have to show us the proposed total investment amount in US dollars, have documented evidence of the investor’s ability to raise funds to implement a project and proof of availability of funds inform of Bank Letter of Credit or confirmation of funds by the bank,” Ajedra said recently.

Ajedra said the intending investors must show their expected impact on the economy in terms of job creation, capital investment, turnover and export revenue where applicable as well as other benefits to the community.

Basically, an investor would respond for a call for application, bidding advert from the PPDA, of which he or she responds too. New measures also require preliminary architectural layouts to justify acreage of the project including necessary infrastructure facilities.

“They will be required to show us evidence of the investors track record in terms of experience in implementing similar or related investment projects in the past,” he stressed.

The investors will also be required to show their anticipated implementation period for the project in months, and their anticipated impact of the project on the environment and an Environment Impact Assessment (EIA).

Currently, out of the 2208 acres of land at the Kampala Industrial Business Park at Namanve along the Jinja Highway, 1142 acres are to cater for infrastructure, wetlands and green spaces, leaving a balance of 1066 acres for allocation.

Ajedra said so far, 626.8 acres have been allocated to 190 investors and the remaining land of 439.2 acres withdrawn from speculating investors or those that have not developed it.

He told intending investors that land is still available in different industrial parks with Kasese having 219 acres, Soroti (216 acres), Moroto (417 acres), Kabalore (100 acres) and Jinja (186 acres) all available for allocation.

The minister said investors will now be given an initial three years to show that they are serious anout their invesstment plans.