In Uganda, the manufacturing sector contributes 10% to country’s Gross Domestic Product and has been growing at an average of 10% for the last three decades, according to the Uganda Manufacturer’s Association. In addition, the sector also contributes 40% of jobs created by the private sector, a statistic that is expected to grow.
The government of Uganda expects high growth in the manufacturing sector as investors seek to take advantage of the benefits of recent infrastructure projects such as the Hydro Power plants (Karuma, Ayago & Isimba) in the energy sector which are expected to lower the cost of manufacturing.
Many efforts have also been put in to building Industrial parks where investors can set up factories and industries, examples are in Namanve just outside Kampala, Mbarara, Tororo and Jinja. These provide an environment for manufacturing projects which provide employment, foreign exchange etc.
Currently Uganda’s Industries are growing and diversifying in nature and are in fields such as food processing, beverages, soft drinks and beer, sugar, and tobacco, textiles, clothing and footwear, sawmilling, paper and printing, chemicals, paint, soap and foam products; bricks and cement, metal products and others.
Uganda and Africa’s economies are increasingly trying to create a hospitable environment for companies in the manufacturing sector to drive growth, as the old models of growth driven by exporting raw materials are no longer effective for Economic growth.
The growth of the manufacturing sector is particularly critical for Uganda’s development especially if her export base is to be increased. Manufacturing is the only sustainable way through which Uganda will create more decent, well-paying jobs for its young and growing population.