Moroto District leaders have expressed their approval of the construction of a new cement and clinker factory in their region.
The factory, valued at 1.1 Trillion Shillings, is being established by West International Holding Limited, a subsidiary of China West Cement Limited (stock code 2233.HK), a Hong Kong-listed company. It is anticipated to employ over 1,000 individuals in the Karamoja Sub-region.
Upon its completion in 2025, the factory, situated on 200 acres of land in Nadunget Sub County, will have the capacity to produce approximately 6,000 tonnes of clinker and cement daily.
This development aims to decrease the need to import raw materials for cement production from other parts of the country.
During the groundbreaking ceremony on Tuesday, local leaders and elders welcomed this development, emphasizing that it would safeguard their minerals from exploitation and generate job opportunities.
Rose Adero, the Moroto District woman councilor representing Loputuk Sub County, highlighted that the factory would create a market for raw materials. She also expressed hope that it would provide employment opportunities for reformed warriors who had turned to unlawful activities due to a lack of income.
Adero pointed out that many educated young people in the area were without job opportunities and some had resorted to drug abuse.
Mark Aol Musoka, a former LCV Chairperson for Moroto, believed that this investment would encourage other Ugandans to invest in a region that was previously considered off-limits.
Musoka emphasized that this was an opportunity for the region to contribute to the national economy. He projected that the factory would generate jobs for at least 35 percent of the local community, encompassing both skilled and unskilled positions.
Musoka acknowledged that the region faced insecurity due to idle youth resorting to cattle rustling as their only livelihood.
Francis Adome, the Member of Parliament for Moroto Municipality, noted the factory’s strategic location and its potential to attract markets from neighboring countries such as Kenya and South Sudan.
Adome affirmed their commitment to ensuring the region’s security to attract more investors and foster development.
He also emphasized the importance of the factory selling products at affordable, subsidized prices for everyone.
Jackson Angela, an elder in Rupa Sub County, appealed to the investors to maintain transparency with the government and the local community.
Angela pointed out that the stones to be quarried contained other minerals, and miners should declare this to ensure the community benefits from royalties.
Peter Lokeris, the Minister of State for Minerals, outlined the government’s objective of promoting value addition to Uganda’s minerals for employment, industrialization, and local content development.
Lokeris highlighted that Uganda currently imported over 50 percent of the clinker needed for cement production and that this project would support the government’s initiative to locally manufacture clinker.
Mr. Wang Fayin, the President of West International Holding Limited, expressed confidence that the completed project would contribute positively to Uganda’s economic development.
However, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony, stressed the importance of ensuring that all people in the Karamoja sub-region benefit from the ongoing industrial development.
He acknowledged that not everyone could work in the cement factory but suggested creating business opportunities to indirectly benefit from the factory’s presence.
Museveni cautioned the people of Karamoja against committing crimes and encouraged them to maintain peace in the area to ensure the success of the industrial development agenda in the sub-region.