Kadaga said the region has many untapped mineral deposits that can be used, when well exploited, to improve the welfare of Ugandans living in Busoga.
The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga has called on investors to explore and mine the huge potential of mineral resources in Busoga region where she comes from.
“We are endowed with a lot of minerals; I asked the district leaders in Busoga to use data we gave them on maps to establish where these mineral resources are located,” said Kadaga.
Kadaga said the region has many untapped mineral deposits that can be used, when well exploited, to improve the welfare of Ugandans living in Busoga. The speaker made the remarks while meeting the Busoga Consortium in Parliament on Wednesday.
She commended the progress being made by the Busoga Consortium in lobbying for the growth of the region and tasked the group to do more in promoting mineral development in the area.
All political leaders hailing from Busoga Kingdom belong to the umbrella body, the Busoga Consortium led by their patron and Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga.
Bugiri, Iganga and Mayuge have rare earth metals. Rare earth metals such as alloys, are used in the construction and manufacturing of automobile (cars, aeroplane) parts, and largely in electronics. Iganga district has potential deposits of gold and nickel. Mayuge has potential deposits of iron ore. Several districts have industrial minerals such as clay, sand, coltan.
Busoga is comprised of the following districts; Bugiri District, Buyende District, Iganga, Jinja, Kaliro, Kamuli (where the speaker comes from), Luuka, Mayuge, Namayingo and Namutumba.
The Speaker also told the meeting that progress had been made in improving marine transport to Busoga region, which would ease transport for people and goods from the region to markets.
“I am glad to announce that there is going to be a water transport service from Entebbe to Jinja. The boat is expected to take two and a half hours in transit, and I will launch it soon,” she said.
Kadaga asked the Consortium to lobby for Government’s input in the preservation of heritage sites located in the region, including the Source of the Nile and the newly established Ghandi Memorial.
She tasked the leaders of the Consortium to demand for royalties which Busoga is privy to, as well as continue to lobby for improved education in the region.
The Minister for the Presidency Esther Mbayo who hails from Luuka, commended the Speaker for her support to the Consortium’s activates as their patron.
“We have had several rallies where we are teaching the public about the development agenda of the Consortium. We have also received positive response from stakeholders,” Mbayo said.
During the meeting the highlights of the Busoga Development Agenda were presented to the Speaker, with seven pillars that include education and skills development; commercialising agriculture; tourism – culture and heritage; road and water infrastructure development; industrialisation; urban and human settlement and environmental sustainability.
Uganda enjoys a wealth of over 50 minerals ranging from gold, copper, iron ore, vermiculite, tin, tantalite, tungsten, nickel, platinum and phosphate but exploiting them to use for development has been a problem.