Museveni: Atiak Sugar Factory will unlock the economic potential of Acholi sub-region

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni delivering his speech during the occasion of the president’s visit to assess the status of implementation of Atiak Sugar Project in Amuru district on the 13th April 2024. Photo by PPU/Tony Rujuta.

ATIAKA – President Museveni has said that the establishment of Atiak Sugar Factory in Gem Pacilo village, Atiak Sub-County,  Amuru District will unlock the economic potential of Acholi Sub-region.

The President who visited the Horyal Investment Holding Company, a joint venture between the government of Uganda and businesswoman Amina Hersi sought to assess the progress of the enterprise which runs Atiak Sugar Factory.

Mr. Museveni said the investment made by Atiak Sugar Factory is good for the region and neighboring areas

He said the people disagreeing over the land being used by Atiak Sugar Factory are opportunists whose aim is to divide the people of Acholi.

“The land for this factory here is about 25,000 acres. The whole of Acholi is 27,000 square kilometres. Now what is 25,000 acres out of the 27,000 square kilometres? Now those people who are pushing that line of confusion are really enemies of Acholi but also enemies of Uganda and Africa,” the President said, adding that any person who is against urbanisation, especially through industrialization is an enemy of Uganda.

“Urbanisation especially through industrialization is very important for the area and anybody who really opposes that is either blind or an enemy of the people,” he said.

He added: “We shall not allow any distortions created by any group like those Balaalo who were coming from the South. Why are you going to the North? To do what? Many of them don’t have good reasons because they misused their own land or underutilised it and then come to create confusion here. But there could be some who come for good reasons. Therefore, on one hand we don’t encourage those people who squander their land in other parts of the country and then come to do the same here but again in some cases there are those who want to do some good work.”

“If there’s anybody causing distortion, we shall oppose you, we are all here. I wrote my document, I want everybody to come back and we will discuss it and the other committee which we set up will move around, we shall get a solution.”

President Museveni commended the proprietor of Atiak Sugar Factory Dr. Amina for setting up the project and tasked leaders such as Members of Parliament to support the investment so that it can achieve its goal.

“I really want to thank Amina for starting this project. I’m glad, what is happening is good, we can build on it,” he emphasised.

“The strategic vision is that by producing sugar, we stop imports. Suppose we were importing sugar; how much money would be spent per year? If you are producing sugar and exporting it, there’s no way you can say you are making a mistake. If you start even if you don’t succeed in the first round, continue. I attacked Kabamba two times failing, but the third time I succeeded, that is why you see me here.”

President Museveni advised smallholders farmers to adopt the four-acre model type of farming instead of growing crops like sugarcane and cotton, if they want to make more money.

“When you read my books, I recommend products which have got national, regional and international demand,” he said.

The Minister of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives, Francis Mwebesa thanked President Museveni for his commitment towards prioritising industrialization as a pathway of wealth creation, employment and community transformation.

“I call upon our partners and stakeholders, other government agencies and Civil societies to support Uganda Development Corporation and Horyal in the success of the factory,” he said.

The Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Hon. Norbert Mao said the project is based on President Museveni’s pronouncement when he unilaterally signed the Juba Peace Agreement.

“In your speech you said you will industrialise Northern Uganda so that people can have jobs. We took that promise very seriously and based on that promise, we knew that as the guns were falling silent and peace was returning, it was important that Northern Uganda stopped being a burden on the economy of Uganda and also start contributing and to contribute you must use your greatest asset. Here we have land, that is how the family of John Omaya gave out land to Maama Amina to develop it.”

On her part, Dr. Amina thanked the government of Uganda under the stewardship of President Museveni for the support towards her company that has enabled them to register progress.

She also assured the President that her company is ready to work with farmers and get a market for their produce.

The event was also attended by the Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Matia Kasaija, Minister of State for Economic Monitoring, Beatrice Akello, Members of Parliament, among others.


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