By Spy Uganda
It was a night of sorrows for people in Mbale after fire gutted Gracefoam Mattress Factory at Sino Industrial Park leaving properties worth millions burnt into ashes.
It’s reported that fire that began at 8pm (last night) engulfed all the properties at the factory and despite fire brigade’s intervention, the fire continued to escalate.
By the time of filing this article, police was yet to communicate the cause of the fire.
Sino Industrial Park covers an area of 2.51 square kilometers. Its location, some 220 kilometers from Kampala, the capital of Uganda, and 65 kilometers from the Kenyan border, reaches out to the East African markets.
The story of this industrial park begins on July 7, 2017, when the Sino-Uganda Mbale Industrial Park Development Agreement was signed between Tiantang Group and the government of Uganda.
The objective pursued by this initiative is attracting Chinese companies to invest in the country, seeking to strengthen their path to industrialization.
The key player in setting up this project was Zhang Zhigang, the Chinese entrepreneur behind the Tian Tang Group. His first action in Uganda dates back to 2009, when the group bought more than 35 acres of wasteland in Mukono district of central Uganda. There, it set up what would later become the Tian Tang Industrial Park.
The creation of the Sino-Uganda Mbale Industrial Park represents an opportunity not only for China’s interests through the Belt and Road Initiative, but also for the development of local entrepreneurship, which is key to the sustainable development of the country.
However, both Uganda and Chinese governments see Sino-Uganda Mbale Industrial Park as an important investment opportunity. This is to the advantages of its geographical position, as well as the preferential policies that have been made through cooperation between the two government.