Companies ready to invest over $100m to develop Makerere University land

Companies ready to invest over $100m to develop Makerere University land
Mak Holdings together with some members of university management pose for a group photo together with investors at Hotel Africana.
Mak Holdings together with some members of university management pose for a group photo together with investors at Hotel Africana.

The Makerere University Holdings Company Ltd has attracted 10 reputable companies/firms to invest and develop Makerere University land, assets and other commercial entities.

Charged with the responsibility of development, management and oversight of University Commercial entities, the Makerere University Holdings Company Ltd chaired by respected business man and entrepreneur, Mr. Charles Mbire published an advert calling upon potential bidders with an international brand name and good track record to invest in building a Hotel and Convention Centre at Makerere University Guest House, and a 5-Star Hotel and Upper Market Apartments at Kololo.

Presenting their respective investment plans at the Investor Conference organized by Makerere University Holdings Company Limited and the Makerere University Planning and Development Department, held on Friday 5th December 2014 at Hotel Africana-Kampala, the participants were thrilled to note that most companies/firms were ready to invest between USD 100m to USD 200m in this viable partnership.

Commenting on this milestone, Mr. Charles Mbire-Chair, Board of Directors Makerere University Holdings Company Limited said: “The first step in investments of this nature is to develop appetite for the investors. The companies that have presented have trust and are ready to invest in the projects/businesses. In my view, we should be ready to start in April 2015. Within the next two to three years, the projects will be running and generating income.”

The following companies made presentations: Master Assets Investment Ltd-Hong Kong; China Communications Construction Company Ltd-China; Property Services Ltd-Uganda, TWED Consulting Company Ltd-Uganda; Roko Construction-Uganda; Boldman Group International INC, United States;  and Africa Investment Centre Ltd-United Kingdom.

The following companies also submitted documents (Expression of Interest) to develop Makerere University land:-  NSSF Uganda; Sinohydro Corporation Limited-China;  A4 Architects Kenya & Hilton World Wide South Africa; and Pinnacle Group-United States.

Presenting their investment plan for an international branded mixed use project on the University land in Kololo, TWED Real Estate Property Developers-Uganda, which is on record for expressing earlier interest to develop the University land in Katanga used the same opportunity to reiterate TWED’s commitment to partner with key stakeholders in the development of a transport hub in Katanga.

Africa Investment Centre Ltd together with International Hospital Group-UK also expressed readiness to partner with Makerere University Holdings Company Ltd to build Makerere University teaching hospital on the University land in Katalemwa.

Mr. Mbire thanked the prospective investors for choosing to partner with Makerere University Holdings Company Ltd to contribute to the development of Makerere University.

Through this partnership, the Makerere University Holdings Company Ltd is addressing the issues that have previously kept investors away.  I assure you that the investments were to be handled as a proper business. Makerere University has several pieces of prime land and the first target was for the Guest House, Kololo and the Makindye Hill assets. With these assets the University will be able to generate revenue in a neat and transparent manner.”

The Chairperson of Makerere University Council-the supreme governing body of the University, Eng. Dr. Charles Wana-Etyem said the ten year Makerere University Strategic plan guides the University Managers to concentrate on the core functions of teaching and learning, research and innovations as well as Knowledge transfer partnerships. The Strategic Plan also provides strategies for partnering with professional companies/firms for none-core functions, which are crucial in the functioning of the University.  He explained that through the Makerere University Holdings Company Ltd, Makerere University was tapping into the wealth of experience of individuals who have excelled in business, investment, management and specialized fields to develop assets and commercial properties on behalf of the University.

 “Two years ago, Makerere University decided to make use of its property under a Holdings Company Limited. The university leadership has entrusted the Board of Directors for the Makerere University Holdings Company Ltd with authority to handle the business that was on offer. The Board of Directors chaired by Mr. Charles Mbire is responsible for engaging the investors, and removing bureaucracies involved in most Public- Private Partnerships,” reiterated Eng. Dr. Wana-Etyem.

Giving a brief on Makerere University and Investment plans, the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Finance and Administration), Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe, on behalf of the University Management pointed out that the university had vast land in prime locations, assets and properties in Kampala and other suburbs.

“In Kampala, Makerere University has over 80 Acres in prime areas in Kololo, Makerere University Hill, Bwaise, Makindye and other upper suburbs. These were all going to be developed. The university leadership had an idea on what to do with these properties but was handing over these investments to the Makerere University Holdings Company Ltd under the leadership of Mr. Charles Mbire for visualization and actualization.”

Ending the Investor Conference, Mr. Mbire re-assured Makerere University, the investors and Ugandans at large that together with his team, that for a start they would prioritise two projects- namely building a Hotel and Convention Centre at Makerere University Guest House, and a 5-Star Hotel and Upper Market Apartments at Kololo.

“To me as a businessman, this is a worthwhile venture. My team will meet, prioritise and call the investors for clarifications. We will undertake a feasibility study. We will call the investors for serious discussions in January 2015. We will be ready for the ground breaking ceremony in February 2015.It is achievable if we avoid bureaucracies,” said Mr. Mbire.

Inaugurated by the Chancellor of Makerere University, Prof. George Mondo Kagonyera on 22nd August 2014, the Board of Directors of the Makerere University Holdings Company Ltd comprises the following eminent personalities: Mr. Charles Mbire, Mr. Charles Ocici, Mr. Andrew Kasirye, Ms. Ruth Biyinzika Musoke, Dr. William Bazeyo, Dr. Winnie Tarinyeba and  Dr. Gorrettie Nabanoga Nsubuga.

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