President commends foreign investors at Commissioning of $40 million Fine Spinners factory in Bugolobi

Wednesday 17th December 2014
State House PPU

President Yoweri Museveni has highly commended foreign investors for their contribution to the social and economic development of Uganda and assured them of government’s support.

“Fine Spinners, you are at the right place and at the right time. Don’t worry about any hitches. We shall sort them out. I, therefore, declare the commissioning of this factory. I thank investors for the contribution they have made in the social and economic development of our country,” he said.

The President, who was accompanied by his wife, Mrs. Janet Museveni, was today commissioning the new Fine Spinners Textile Factory at Bugolobi near Kampala City. The state of the art plant has been set up at the former Coffee Marketing Board facility along the Old Port-Bell Road. The factory currently employs 1,200 Ugandans and on completion in 2 years time, will employ over 3,000 youth and will need 50,000 bales of cotton. The factory currently produces jeans as well as Polo T-Shirts with the colors of the Uganda National Flag at the collar and the crane bird on the breast pocket. They have ready market in Germany, Denmark and the United States of America. The factory uses locally produced cotton and will in the long run engage over 30,000 Ugandan farmers in the production of cotton.

President Museveni, who was visibly very excited about the project, noted that the opening of Fine Spinners Textile Factory will be another milestone in the struggle to end the hemorrhage of Ugandan products that were donated to the outside world.

“Mrs. Janet Museveni and I are very happy to be here to witness the realization of our vision to liberate Uganda from the slavery of exporting raw materials. When you export one kilo of cotton, you get one American dollar and when the same kilo is processed into garment, you get US$15. So you can see the perpetual hemorrhage of Africa,” the President said.  

Mr. Museveni said a similar struggle has been successful with coffee, milk, beef and leather. He attributed the long journey of the struggle to the wrong policies of the 1960s’ and after the NRM came to power to lack of implementation of its policies that were initially resisted by Public Servants. The President, once again, reiterated his warning to those delaying development projects not to make any attempt to do that again even for 3 days.

He also commended former Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Ms Rosa Whittaker for her zeal and steadfastness in pushing for the African Growth Opportunity Act (AGOA) Policy in the United States of America. He said under AGOA, 6,000 products from Africa were allowed to enter into the American market quota and tax free.

Mr. Museveni said he supported the AGOA policy in spite some resistance by some African leaders. The President, however, expressed his disappointment to note that Uganda, which was at the forefront in supporting the AGOA policy, did not benefit as it was earning only less than US$5 million from the market, yet countries like Kenya were earning US$ 300 million, South Africa US$26 billion, Lesotho US$320 and Mauritius US$187 million.

“I want to salute Whittaker. If there are ten most important black persons in the world, Whittaker is one of them after Nyerere, Samora Machel and Mandela who was more of a martyr,” he said.

The President was glad to note that by removing all bottlenecks that prevent Uganda from benefiting from the AGOA market, Uganda was now back on the right track.

On the concern raised by the Executive Director of Fine Spinners plant, Mr. Jaswinder Bedi, over high electricity tariffs, President Museveni assured him that the charge for manufacturers will be American cents 5 per unit.

President Museveni was on arrival taken on a tour of the production line right from the blowing section to the final finished garments department by the Executive Director of Fine Spinners, Mr. Jaswinder Bedi.

Other directors who received the keys symbolizing the opening of the factory included Mr. Nick Earlam and Mr. Shanti Shah.

The President and his wife Mrs. Janet Museveni cut the cake made in the shape of the Ugandan map amid ululations by invited guests.

The Director of Fine Spinners, Mr. Jaswinder, thanked President Museveni for his support adding that the day was very special for both the plant and Uganda because of the realization of the dream to add value to locally produced cotton.

The colorful function that was started by a prayer led by Mrs. Janet Museveni was attended by the Speaker of Parliament, the Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga.

Others included line Cabinet Ministers, business executives from Africa and beyond, the executives of the Cotton Development Authority, Ms. Jolie Sabune, and the Senior Presidential Advisor on AGOA, Mrs. Susan Muhwezi and her spouse Hon. Jim Muhwezi as well as the local business community.

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