By Nasser Kasozi Akandwanaho
President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has praised city tycoon and businessman Hamis Kiggundu for choosing to invest his accumulated wealth into the Ugandan economy instead of becoming an importer like many other businessmen under Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA), an umbrella organization that brings together traders in Kampala.
President Museveni also praised the young businessman for not ‘squandering’ his money by entertaining luxurious activities like consuming alcohol in bars and going for expensive holiday trips abroad but instead remained sober hardworking and invested his money in the country by setting an agro-processing plant.
“People who are clever like Kiggundu say that now that I have immersed a lot of shillings, and I am disciplined, I don’t go to bars to squander money, I don’t go for holidays abroad, let me go into agro-processing. I wish the KACITA can do the same,” the president said of Kiggundu.
President Museveni was last week addressing NRM Elected Members of Parliament in Kyankwanzi who had camped at the National Leadership Institute for orientation ahead of the inauguration of the incoming parliament and swearing-in of a new government headed by President Museveni and the National Resistance Movement (NRM) following their January re-election.
Earlier, Kiggundu, the founder of Ham Enterprises and Ham Agro-Processing Industries, had presented a paper on how Ugandans can use business, entrepreneurship, and the country’s resources to economically uplift themselves and the country at large
Kiggundu, who under Ham Agro-Processing Industries, has been able to roll out a $120m Integrated Agro-processing Industrial Parks (IAIPs), acknowledged that he has been able to be successful in the realistic circumstances that are on the ground under the regime.
“Government has today come up with a lot of programs including Operation Wealth Creation but it would be very difficult to successfully implement these programs for as long as the mindset of ordinary Ugandans on the ground, who are the principals in this journey to prosperity, have failed to adjust their minds within the perimeters of reason,” he said.
“The government is doing all it can but for as long as we don’t tackle that element of reasoning capacity, it will be very hard to implement government policies and programs,” he added.
Kiggundu wondered how a tax base of 1.6m people can cater to the needs of close to 46m Ugandans. “This means that 45 Ugandans have become a liability to the prosperity of the nation. The youth have refused to take responsibility to carry themselves forward at an individual level and as well as a nation,’ he pointed out.
Ham Agro-Processing Industries’ Integrated Agro-processing Industrial Parks is categorized into ten important crop and livestock production zone locations in Uganda.
Uganda has 10 agro-ecological zones comprising of North-eastern Drylands; North-eastern Savannah Grasslands; North-western Savannah Grasslands; Parra Savannahs; Kyoga Plains; Lake Victoria Crescent; Western Savannah Grasslands; Pastoral Rangelands; South-western Farmlands; and the Highland Ranges.
An Integrated Agro-Processing Industrial Park (IAIP) is a dedicated cluster of large, medium, and small-scale food processing units.
The Agro processing Park will be facilitated with common basic and modern infrastructure such as, internal roads, cold storage units, food laboratory, effluent treatment plant, warehouses (incubators), electronic weighbridge units, information and communication center, guest houses, cafeteria, recreational zones along with common security arrangements, which we are currently setting up in the first place.
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