- But the war in South Sudan has affected the cross-border trade where Oraba, that is one of the busiest borders has been rendered idle for about a year
- The insecurity has led to loss of revenue for the local government and Uganda government
- The designs of the construction are nearly complete
- The construction of the industrial park that is expected to attract people from South Sudan and DRCongo, the construction is scheduled to start this financial year
By Felix & Our Reporter
Koboko- The locals and district leaders are ready to tap into the job opportunities and income once the Industrial Park at Uganda-South Sudan border is constructed.
The leaders say the construction of the industrial park would boost local revenue, income for traders through the boost in cross border trade with South Sudan and DRCongo.
The LC5 Chairman, Mr Hassan Nginya, said the industrial park will address the meagre local revenue collection and unemployment among the youths.
He said the industrial park is part of the five-year development plan that will promote trade and commerce with the two countries. The strategic location of the town, commonly known as Salia musala has created huge opportunities for growth of cross border trade especially through Oraba Border.
“Already, the existing good trade relationship between Uganda, DR Congo and South Sudan is a driving factor to create more jobs and enhance revenue collection for improved service delivery in the district.”
Bank of Uganda report indicates that Oraba, the dominant border crossing for Uganda’s informal exports during 2009 and accounted for $ 324.29 million. This was an increase of 8.7 percent from the 2008 figure. However, in 2010, there was a decline to $72.18 million of the total informal exports.
Last year, President Yoweri Museveni, while speaking in Koboko town, said the locals should utilize the cross-border trade to develop the town and boost their household income.
Mr Simon Todoko, the district secretary for production and marketing attributes the low morale in implementation of government programmes to persistent low budgetary allocation to local governments which now needs alternative income sources.
The designs of the construction are nearly complete. The construction of the industrial park that is expected to attract people from South Sudan and DRCongo, the construction is scheduled to start this financial year.
Koboko district local government with Six Sub-counties, approved a budget of Shs 24 billion this financial year up from Shs 14 billion in the Financial Year 2017/18. The East African Community factor plays another role in the cross-border trade as most goods are moved freely from Mombasa passing via Pakwach to Mahagi, Arua, Koboko, Moyo to South Sudan.
According to Mr Simon Alonga the deputy Chief Administrative Officer Koboko, says any short falls as a result of low funding by the central government are covered through interventions of development partners who continue to play important role in local governments.