Chinese Company Gives Tororo Families Shs 2.5bn As “Goodwill”


information pills geneva; font-size: small; line-height: 200%;”>Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi confirmed this when he met an 11-member delegation led by Lv Weidong, president of Guangzhou Dongsong Ltd, the Chinese company that got a 49-year lease and exploration licence to mine the phosphates there, on Monday.

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Weidong said the company provided the money as a goodwill gesture for the residents, but compensation was yet to come.

Ministers Irene Muloni (energy), Daudi Migereko (lands) and Peter Lokeris (state for minerals) attended the meeting at the Prime Minister’s Office.

Others included Solomon Rutega, Guangzhou’s Uganda consul general, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Energy, Kabagambe Kaliisa, the Deputy Secretary to the Treasury, Patrick Ocailap and the Uganda Investment Authority Executive Directorf, Dr Frank Sebbowa.

“We obviously welcome the gesture but ensure not to cause unnecessary excitement,” Mbabazi cautioned.

He directed the formation of an inter-ministerial team, including the Attorney General, to liaise with local authorities and sensitise the beneficiaries.

Weidong had led an 11-member Chinese delegation to brief the Prime Minister on the progress of the project that the government flagged off in September. He said it would ensure it benefitted the indigenous people.

The Carbonatite Comprehensive Development Project, which is scheduled to begin fertilizer production in August next year, has estimated total deposits of 230m tonnes. It covers 26sq km in 14 villages across parts of Osukuru and Rubongi sub-counties in Tororo district.

The US$560m (over Shs 1.4tn) investment will produce 300,000 tons of fertilizers and 300,000 tons of steel annually. It will also have a component for a sulfuric acid plant with a capacity of 200,000 tons, in addition to a 5-MW power plant for internal use.

“Although we have many mineral deposits the strength of our economy lies in agriculture, characterized by good climate, fertile soils, enough rain, good drainage and organic food production,” Mbabazi said.

He hailed the role of Chinese companies in the Ugandan economy, inviting more to invest in agriculture, agro-processing and the use of fertilisers. He said the demand for food in the great lakes region was currently greater than the capacity to supply.

The President of China Development Bank, Wu Deli said he was in Uganda as part of his 30 countries tour across Africa to assess Chinese investments which the Bank supports.

He said the Bank set up a US$1bn Fund to support small and medium-sized projects in Africa, no matter which industry. He said Uganda had a lot of untapped potential for steel and glass production, and encouraged more Chinese companies to exploit it.

The team asked government to allow Chinese companies construct toll roads whose usage would be paid for. They promised to lobby some airlines to introduce direct flights between Uganda and China instead of transiting through Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.


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