by | Jul 6, 2023 | Policy & Advocacy

Kampala, 06 July 2023 – The Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA) and Uganda Free Zones Authority (UFZA) entered into a strategic partnership by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at fostering collaboration and promoting export-oriented investment and job creation in Uganda, at the UMA head office.

During his welcome remarks, the Executive Director of Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA), Dr. Ezra Rubanda, highlighted the significance of the MoU in aligning with UMA’s strategic direction to tap into emerging regional demand for Ugandan products.

He emphasized that the MoU will speak to UMA’s strategic direction that aims to enhance the competitiveness of manufacturers through the establishment of Free Zones which will facilitate exports and enable local industries to thrive in the regional market.

Dr. Rubanda further emphasized the significance of the partnership in supporting Uganda’s industrial growth trajectory, noting that the establishment of Free Zones in major districts of the country will catalyze inclusive growth across Uganda thus ensuring that economic benefits are distributed widely. He also expressed the need for a review of the existing law to allow UFZA to expand their threshold from 20% to 50%, to provide greater support to local companies.

Speaking at the signing ceremony, the Executive Director of UFZA, Mr. Hez Kimoomi Alinda, expressed enthusiasm for the collaboration, noting that it marks a significant milestone in efforts to boost export-oriented investment and job creation. He also highlighted the importance of the partnership in bolstering economic growth through enabling Ugandan manufacturers compete globally due to the tax and non-tax incentives that they will benefit from after joining the Free Zones Scheme.

The key objectives of the MoU include:

  1. Coordination of joint activities: UFZA will take the lead in coordinating any joint activities carried out by the Parties, keeping UMA informed about the development of Free Zones, Export Processing Zones, and Free Ports.
  • Capacity building and support: UFZA will provide land and infrastructure support to facilitate the entry of Large and Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) into the Free Zones scheme. UFZA and UMA will collaborate to support members that join the Free Zones, particularly SMEs, by providing advertising and legalization services.
  • Networking and market access: UMA will profile firms already exporting their products and services or intending to export, referring them to UFZA for support and licensing under the Free Zones Scheme. UMA will also mobilize SMEs to supply raw materials and intermediate goods to Free Zones’ enterprises. Both organizations will jointly organize events, exhibitions, and trade fairs to create awareness and market opportunities for SMEs.

The collaboration between UFZA and UMA is expected to enhance policy advocacy efforts to support local companies in benefiting from the incentives offered by the Uganda Free Zones Authority.


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