GULU — President Yoweri Museveni on Saturday October 24 participated in the ground-breaking of two flagship projects; construction of the Gulu Logistics Hub, and rehabilitation of the Tororo-Gulu railway.
Other dignitaries that attended this event included Deputy Speaker, Jacob Oulanyah, Cabinet Minister of Works and Transport, Gen. Edward Katumba Wamala, and European Union (EU) Ambassador to Uganda, Attilio Pacifici among others.
With support from European Union (EU) and the UK`s Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO), TradeMark East Africa together with Ministry of Works and Transport and Uganda Railways Cooperation commenced construction in March 2020 of Euros 7.76M (about UGX 33 billion) Trade Logistics Hub in Gulu, a move expected to stimulate trade in the region.
The project is expected to be completed within eighteen months.
Already, 25 percent of the construction has been completed.
The Gulu Logistics Hub is expected to contribute to reduced barriers to trade for both Northern Uganda and the neighbouring countries of South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Gulu Logistics Hub (GLH) will serve the trade corridors of Kampala – Gulu – Elegu/Nimule – Juba Trade Corridor; and Gulu – Pakwach Goli/Pader/Lira/Vurra DRC Trade Corridor.
The hub will be able to handle more than 500,000 containers at a time.
The logistics hub is located on a 24.1 acres piece of land in Layibi division, Gulu Municipality and was allocated by the Uganda Railways Corporation. The hub is located adjacent to the current Gulu railway station and connects to the main roads to South Sudan and Kampala.
Major features of Gulu logistics hub in Uganda will include container and break-bulk, handling and storage facilities, space for stakeholders dealing with freight transport (freight forwarders, shippers and transport operators) and the provision of accompanying services such as customs inspections, tax payment, maintenance and repair, banking and information communication technology.
Following the ground breaking, Museveni noted that the entire infrastructure such as roads, railway, logistics hub, and electricity that is being established in Northern Uganda and the rest of the country is for making it easier for Ugandans to travel and also make it cheaper for them to do business.
“We have invested massively in the road network. The roads are for small cargo and that is for the short term. The real medicine to cargo transportation is the railway. When you transport cargo by road, it becomes very expensive. Transporting a 40 ft. container from Kampala to Mombasa by road using a lorry would cost USD 3600. But, if you transport the same cargo by railway, you spend about USD 1800, which is almost half when compared to road transport,” President Museveni said, adding;
“This reduction in transportation costs by almost half is when you are using the old (metre gauge) railway line. If we are to use the new Standard Gauge Railway (SGR), it will be much cheaper. We have already worked on the roads. We are now repairing the old railway and establishing more infrastructure. We will also do the new railway (SGR).”
The EU Ambassador to Uganda, Attilio Pacifici, commented: “The Gulu Logistics Hub will help in the consolidation and exportation of the goods produced from the value chains in Northern Uganda, and will also facilitate the importation and distribution of goods within Northern Uganda for the transformation and improvement and those value chains. The works on the Logistics Hub are scheduled to be completed by the end of 2021, but progress for the Government to build a 2km access road to the Hub remains uncertain. It would be a pity to have the whole project delayed by a simple access…