Uganda’s President, Yoweri Museveni on Tuesday commissioned a new cement factory that he said will open more opportunities to explore minerals in different districts.
Below is his statement
Commissioned the National Cement Factory also known as Simba Cement this afternoon in Mukujju, Tororo District. Owned by Guru Narendra Ravel, the factory directly employs about 300 workers and hundreds more indirectly.
Uganda is one of the richest countries in the world. It has all types of natural resources, which we are now taking advantage of. Take the example of cement here, which is made from limestone. Uganda has reserves of 300 million tonnes of limestone, mainly in Karamoja and Kasese.
For a factory like Simba that uses one million tonnes of limestone annually, it would take 300 years for it to exhaust these deposits. For iron ore, which is important in making steel, Uganda has reserves of 260 million tonnes. Sixty million tonnes of this iron ore is in Osukuru here in Tororo, while the rest is in Kabale and Kanungu.
Your neighbours the Bagisu have vermiculite, an important ingredient in making heat-resistant products, while we also have lithium and niobium which are used to make car batteries. These will help with the solar-powered car projects we are undertaking.
The problem has been the confusion in management of politics. It is on that basis that I want to thank the people of Tororo for being civilized even when they have disagreements over the district. You protest but peacefully.
I appreciate that approach. We shall sort out the the problem because we have been discussing for a while. We cannot resolve it here with only one party present. I will call all groups and we resolve the issue.
My friend, Guru, has promised to build a steel factory in Kabale and a clinker factory in Moroto. I did not want the Karimojong to complain that they are forgotten. Clinker, which is 65% cement, will be produced in Moroto but mixed with pozzolana and gypsum from here, Tororo.
I encourage Ugandans to develop an entrepreneurial mindset. Guru here was born very poor, living in temples. But he has worked hard and just in his fiftees, he has a business empire spanning continents. Details are in his autobiography.
In Uganda here you have children of chiefs, born with property and land yet just squandering that wealth. They also lack social discipline. Guru here said he cannot marry a second wife. It is not accidental. Many wives can be a problem. Instead of consolidating resources, you scatter them.
I am glad Simba Cement says it will recruit local youth. You can even agree on quotas but do not push too much. Any Ugandan with qualifications should be able to get a job in these factories because ultimately all Ugandans buy the products. If we said only Tororo people buy cement, the factory would collapse.
Finally, I must discourage you from growing rice in the wetlands. It will actually be more profitable to do fish farming on the edges of the wetlands as you let them recover. On half an acre of land in Luweero, I earn Shs64m from fish. You can grow cassava for starch.