KAMPALA, Oct. 25 (Xinhua) -- Uganda has started to construct a logistics hub in the northern district of Gulu to promote regional trade, according to a State House statement issued by President Yoweri Museveni here on Saturday.
The president also launched the rehabilitation of the defunct 375-kilometer Tororo-Gulu railway line, which will link the hub to a railway line connecting Uganda to the Kenyan seaport of Mombasa.
"Railway transport is cheaper than road transport. For example, the cost of transporting a 40-feet container of goods from Mombasa Port to Kampala is 3,600 U.S. dollars by road while railway shipment only costs 1,800 dollars. It will be even much faster and cheaper once the Standard Gauge Railway is constructed," Museveni said.
Both projects are interlinked and financed by government and the European Union.
The government said when completed, the 24.1-acre logistics hub will handled more than 200,000 containers per year.
It is also expected to reduce trade barriers for both northern Uganda and the neighbouring countries of South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Katumba Wamala, minister of Works and Transport Department, said transport and logistics costs take up about 50 percent of the value of goods and services to Uganda.
"Once completed in 2023, the railway line will benefit the community in northern Uganda, South Sudan and the DRC, and reduce the costs of the goods that are currently bonded in the warehouse in Kampala," the minister said. Enditem