Ugandan delegation benchmarks at Tatu City

Tatu City is a 5,000-acre, new city with homes, schools, offices, a shopping district, medical clinics, nature areas, a sport & entertainment complex. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

Tatu City’s mixed-use special economic zone (SEZ) will be used as a case study to guide policy review on the establishment of SEZs in Uganda and at the East African Community (EAC) level.

This follows the conclusion of a third benchmarking visit by a delegation of Ugandan government executives and parliamentarians led by the country's Treasury Permanent Secretary Ramathan Ggoobi.

Mr Ggoobi described the city as a success story with rapid development, long-term investment, and job creation.

“Tatu City emerged from our conversations with Uganda’s SEZ Authority and the Kenya Investment Authority. We are here because Kenya is a leader in SEZs, and we believe that Tatu City will provide us with a good opportunity to learn a few things, especially on best practices of creating an environment for investors, which is comfortable, competitive and gives them a good return on investment,” said Ggoobi.

“We aim to upgrade our engagement with Kenya, become a region of choice for quality investors and transform this region economically. We have resolved to go and have more conversations at the EAC level with a view of eliminating the few remaining hurdles to actualizing SEZs.”

Tatu City’s executive vice president Solomon Mahinda described the benchmarking visit as a demonstration by the EAC Community of a readiness to collaborate among members, and, most importantly, to accelerate the ease of doing business within member states.

“There is enormous potential for regional cooperation on the regulatory environment for SEZs to spur investment, trade and, most importantly, job creation. This consultative approach among EAC member states at the government level, where there’s active participation by public and private sector players, increases our confidence that the region is on the right trajectory towards creating a conducive investment environment,” said Mahinda.

Earlier in the week, another delegation from Uganda's Parliamentary Finance Committee visited Tatu City and expressed a desire to accelerate efforts to harmonise trade regulations within the EAC to support the region's growth and development.