On 24th June 2019, Uganda Free Zone Authority (UFZA), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with National Enterprise Corporation (NEC) to construct the initial phase of a Public Free Port Zone at Entebbe International Airport in Uganda.
The MoU was signed by the Executive Director of UFZA Mr. Richard Jabo, and the Managing Director of NEC, Lt Gen. James Mugira, at NEC offices in Bugolobi, Kampala.
UFZA acquired five (5) acres of land from Civil Aviation Authority CAA) for development of Free Port facilities in 2018. This is part of the Master Plan for the rehabilitation and expansion of Entebbe International Airport. Works on Entebbe Airport Free Zone will commence upon conclusion of the Feasibility and Master Plan in Q2 of the FY2019/20. The Free Port Zone is estimated to create about 200 direct jobs upon completion. The target sectors include: a) food processing (fish, beef and dairy); b) horticulture (flowers, fruits and vegetables); c) logistics (cold storage, warehousing and transshipment); and d) Mineral processing, among others.
UFZA is a Government Agency mandated to establish, develop, manage, market, maintain, supervise and control Free Zones in Uganda under the Free Zones Act, 2014. Free Zones are customs-controlled areas where goods introduced into the designated area are generally regarded so far as import duties are concerned as being outside the Customs territory. The Free Zones are schemes set up by Government to boost export-oriented investment.
NEC, on the other hand, was established in 1989 by an Act of Parliament, to serve as a commercial arm of the Ministry of Defence /Uganda People’s Defence Forces and to produce goods and services that are beneficial to the Defence Forces and the general public. Its commercial ventures are undertaken through its Subsidiaries and Joint Ventures. NEC has handled Construction and Engineering works of the Defense Forces, Government Departments and Agencies such as Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF), Kiira Motors Corporation, etc under similar arrangements.