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The Briefing

Belfast firm to drive growth in Northern Ireland and Uganda with development project

by Aiken PR

22/01/2020

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Lagan construction company wins contract to develop Kampala Business park, thanks to UK Government export finance support

Project will create over 200,000 jobs and utilise Northern Irish expertise

International Development Minister Stephenson visited the Kampala park site last week to cut the ribbon on construction

The UK Government has announced that Belfast based firm Lagan is to develop a $246million business park in Uganda in a boost to the Northern Irish company.

It was confirmed at the UK–Africa Investment Summit in London today (20th January) that the Government of Uganda has secured a £185million loan from the UK Government to support the delivery of the project, which will be implemented by businessman Kevin Lagan’s group of companies.

Ugandan President Museveni joined African leaders and delegations from 20 other countries attending the Summit, which was hosted by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Further development of the Kampala Industrial Business Park – supported by the Government’s UK Export Finance (UKEF) department and spearheaded by Lagan – will create employment opportunities for 200,000 people in Uganda.

Support from UK Export Finance, the Government’s export credit agency, has been vital in helping UK exporters gain a foothold in Africa.

UKEF has provided close to £2 billion of government–backed export finance support for UK exporters in Africa since 2018, helping to secure UK business for infrastructure projects across Africa.

This announcement is a major project for construction entrepreneur Kevin Lagan’s group of companies with experienced staff, materials and equipment to be sourced in Northern Ireland. 

International Development Minister Andrew Stephenson said:

“This announcement at the UK–Africa Investment Summit shows the UK Government’s commitment to help ambitious companies in Northern Ireland like Lagan unlock export potential and boost their trading partnerships with African nations.

“Development of this park is at the heart of the Government of Uganda’s plans to attract investment, create 200,000 jobs, and support businesses which will benefit the country.”

International Trade Secretary, Liz Truss, said:

“Africa is home to 8 of the 15 fastest growing economies in the world and its economic prosperity matters to the UK.

“We want the UK to be the investment partner of choice for African countries so I am delighted that, with UKEF’s support, UK expertise will form a key component of critical infrastructure projects that will directly improve thousands of lives.”

The Kampala Industrial Business Park, at Nemanve in central Uganda, was developed by the Uganda Investment Authority in the early 2000s as a central location for investors to locate factories, warehouses, and distribution centres.

It spans an area near 900 hectares and houses some of Uganda’s most prominent companies including Roofings Steel Mill, Hima Cement, and Kyagalanyi Coffee.

Minister Stephenson visited the site last week with President Museveni to cut the ribbon and officially start work on the ambitious $246million new upgrade project, supported by UKEF.

Lagan has partnered with Ugandan company DOTT Services for the upgrade, which will see the construction of improved infrastructure including roads, water, electricity waste treatment facilities, sewerage and drainage networks and optic fibre networks.

Estimates suggest that the project will create over 200,000 jobs in the long term.

Following the landmark sale of the materials part of his business to Breedon plc for £455m in April 2018, Kevin Lagan has developed targeted and sustainable growth of his retained companies.

Lagan Chairman, Kevin Lagan said:

“Following the successful sale of our building materials business to Breedon plc in 2018, we have targeted a range of exciting new projects which support economic growth and infrastructural development nationally and internationally.

“We have a strong track record working in Africa and the upgrade of Kampala Industrial Business Park strengthens our footprint in the region and supports the regeneration of a very important area of Uganda.   

“The UK–Africa Investment Summit reflects the commitment by the governments to strengthen economic ties between the UK and Africa and the Lagan team is delighted to play its part in this process, which not only supports our business, but is a welcome boost to the economies of both Northern Ireland and Uganda.”

  • Northern Irish companies who are interested in accessing UKEF support should contact local representative Liz McCrory on elizabeth.mccrory@ukexportfinance.gov.uk

 

Notes to editors

          Interviews with Lagan executive Gerry Cawley are available on request

·         UKEF has provided close to £2 billion of government–backed export finance support for exporters in Africa since 2018, unlocking overseas contracts for UK firms developing infrastructure projects across Africa.

·         The UK–Africa Investment summit will create new lasting partnerships that will deliver more investment, jobs and growth. This will benefit people and businesses in Africa and the UK.

·         Hosted by the Prime Minister, the Summit will bring together UK and African business representatives, African leaders and delegations from 21 countries, international institutions and young entrepreneurs 

·         Africa is expected to be home to 8 of the 15 fastest growing economies in the world this year

·         By 2050, over 2 billion people will live in Africa and 1 in 4 global consumers will be African. But African countries receive less than 4% of foreign direct investment and around 20 million jobs a year must be created to keep pace with population growth

·         Please contact DFID Senior Communications Officer Graeme Donohoe on 07384 248 770 email g-donohoe@dfid.gov.uk for more info

 

The Department for International Development (DFID)

We lead the UK government’s work to end extreme poverty.  Find out more at www.gov.uk/dfid

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