ARUA, UGANDA'S UPCOMING TECH CAPITAL

With a cool climate, this capital and the region's back-office is the hottest destination in West Nile playing host to a number of regional Head offices. Arua is one of East Africa's fastest growing cities, its population burgeoning from 782077 in 2014 to over 800000 today. While the business sector is one of the biggest economic drivers of the city, real estates, banks, hotels,media and a whole lot of imerging industries keep the city pulsating. With an educated upwardly mobile populace, Arua is the test market for any new consumer product launch, from credit cards to clothing brands to biscuits and liquor.

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Arua district lies in the North-Western Corner of Uganda. It is bordered by Maracha district in the North West; Yumbe in the North East; Democratic Republic of Congo in the West; Nebbi in the South; Zombo in the South East; and Amuru district in the East.In total the district covers an area of 4,274.13Km², of which about 87% is arable. It is located 520 km from Kampala and only 80 km from the South Sudan Border. REASONS TO INVEST IN ARUA

Existing Infrastructure There are 61 bridges to enable accessibility to the rural areas. Major government investments are in infrastructural transformation such as the tarmacking of the Arua to Karuma Highway and the tarmacking of the Vurra-Arua-Koboko-Oraba road. The tarmac roads are in very good condition and are regularly maintained. The district has a total road network of 1,831km. Of these, 546Km are trunk roads, 304km are feeder roads while 981km are community access roads. Arua Airstrip serves the Northern Region. It is an important centre for passenger and cargo air traffic between Uganda, DRC and South Sudan making it second-busiest airport in Uganda, after Entebbe. Arua Airport’s services further strengthens the District’s status as a trade and Investment hub. Electricity is supplied by West Nile Energy Company (WENERECO), a partnership of a private investor and the Government of Uganda which manage the West Nile Rural Electrification Project. The project generates 1.5 MW of thermo electricity serving up to 2,800 customers in Arua, Paidha, Yumbe and Nebbi Districts.

Special Economic Zone: Arua Special Economic Zone Limited (Arua SEZ) was recently issued a developer’s license and has launched the project to develop a $12.7million Free Zone on a 12.274-hectare land, in Arua Municipality. Arua SEZ, is expected to be a key driver for exports and job creation in Uganda specifically targeting the export destinations in Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, and Central African Republic while raw materials from these countries such as timber and minerals will be processed for the international markets. The fully serviced zone will also offer huge warehouse space, and an Export Business Accelerator Park for local Small and Medium Enterprises to get on to the international value chains. The project will include the development of an office park for dedicated trade facilitation and market linkage services to enhance trade in the region.

Communication

The district enjoys good access to major mobile telephone networks including MTN, Airtel, UTL, the internet, as well as radio and television networks enabling the much-preferred instant/quick communication. There are 4 radio stations and 2 booster stations in the locality. The booster stations including the government owned UBC and BBC serve approximately 850,000 people.

There are three (3) television stations in Arua. BTN television is stationed in Arua district while WBS and DSTV are relay television stations. The district has up to six internet cafés providing internet services. Accommodation Arua town hosts a wide range of housing including permanent commercial buildings, office buildings, permanent residential houses and apartment blocks. A few hotels with ample amenities and comfortable ambience include Heritage Park Hotel, Desert Breeze hotel and Golden Court Hotel Arua. Other are Golden Courts Hotel and White Castle Hotel.