Summary: “Arua city is unique because it sits on two international borders which offer a ready market for goods… Arua growth will focus on the strength of the regional organization, West Nile development organization.
The People of West Nile on Tuesday night celebrated the changed status of Arua becoming a city. Arua was a municipality with two divisions of Arua hill and River Oli division which was sitting on 10.2square kilometers before the expansion that included the Seven Sub Counties of Ayivu County.
Arua city now comprises of two divisions of Arua central and Ayivu. However, a scientific inauguration of the city occurred in a virtual symposium at Muni University, the only public university that the region boasts of.
The University Secretary/Accounting Officer at Muni University, Rev. Fr. Dr. OdubukerPicho Epiphany welcomed the guests to the university and said he was happy that Muni University was chosen to host such a historic event.
“Guest of Honour, indeed, this is an Actectonic moment in the history, not only of the West Nile Sub-region, but indeed, of the entire Country, Uganda, that amongst others, Arua, in the next couple of hours, will no longer be, any other thing, but A CITY,” he stated.
The Chairperson Arua City Inauguration Committee and Ayivu County Member of Parliament, Hon.BernardAtiku said he organized the day to remember the struggles of attaining the city.
“The People of Ayivu had initially squashed the expansion of the city, therefore what would we do because I knew that we needed a city, “He said.
He said the ceremony was the preparatory stage of portraying that Arua is finally a city so that when the government plans an inauguration the people will have owned the city.
“Everyone in West Nile should embrace the city because it is a regional city due to the infrastructural development in places like Arua Airport, Muni University among others”, He said.
The LC5 Chairperson Arua, Wadri Sam Nyakua hailed President Museveni for ascending to the bill operationalizing the Cities. “I would like to say that Arua district is for everybody, segregating people on the basis of Counties and Municipality can stop the development of the city”.
Muni University Vice-chancellor, Christine Dranzoa who delivered the keynote address stressed the projections of Arua city.
She said the new city needs to plan effectively whether it will be an Arts and culture or a Techno Science city so that they know which districts will supply the raw materials for industrialization.
“Arua city is unique because it sits on two international borders which offer a ready market for goods”, She said.
She noted that the city’s growth will focus on the strength of the regional organization, West Nile development organization.
“All the regions have diverse needs and projects unless we shall look at the value chain system”, She said.
The former Bishop Madi and West Nile diocese, Rev Canon Joel Obetia said Arua had already qualified for a city due to the two religious cathedrals and the Public University.
He cautioned that most cities are characterized by immorality like corruption, robbery which should not be the case for Arua city.
“In the city, only the right qualified persons will benefit from the opportunities in the city”, He said.
The Minister of Urban Planning and Development Hon. Isaac Musumba who delivered a phone speech congratulated the people of Arua upon attaining a city.
“It is my conviction that the people of Arua will guard the city jealously”, He said.
However, he asked the people in the City to avail of land for infrastructural development especially for investment like the creation of industries. The city must have 20 percent dedicated to industries so that they will supply goods to the neighboring countries.
He tasked the leaders to reserve land for forestry to conserve the green vegetation in the city.
Hon. Musumba said the Ministry plans to do physical planning to ensure that the city fits into the status that it deserves.
He also called upon the people to improve on the education standards, garbage collection practices, and other social amenities.