UGANDA – Makerere University has initiated construction of Phase II of the Food Technology and Business Incubation Centre (FTBIC) valued at a total investment of US$4.06 million (UGX20bn).

The facility will be set up in the School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bio-engineering (SFTNB) and will be established in two phases.

The Instutution has already secured US$1.25 million (UGX5billion) under the Presidential Initiative on Science and Technology required for sub-phase I and needs approximately US$4.06 million (UGX15bn) for sub-phase II.

Upon completion, the facility will allocate 1,200 of the total 7,000square metres space to the FTBIC; a huge boost to the current 1,200square metres completed under Phase I.

The project is further expected to strengthen innovations and boost business in the country.

Speaking at the ground breaking ceremony, The Manager, Procurement and Disposal Unit-Mr. Paul Agaba Muhire affirmed that the project had already received the funds required to kick-start the constriction.

In addition, the Dean SFTNB, Dr. Abel Atukwase acknowledged the University Council and Management for recognising the value of food technology and business incubation by ensuring that Phase II is completed successfully.

The FTBIC Manager Prof. William Kyamuhangire shared that SFTNB took the lead in building fully functional spaces at Makerere University by opening the first restaurant housed by an academic unit.

“As a university we deal with a variety of people who have other needs in addition to their academic pursuits and so it was more imperative for the School of Food Technology, Nutrition and Bio-engineering to take the lead, especially in the food sector.”

Prof. Kyamuhangire said that the FTBIC expansion will ensure the institution meets its ambition of producing skilled graduates with an aim of value addition on fresh produce and job creation for their communities.

He said that “FTBIC is the unit of Makerere University that is open to all staff, students and the greater public with no strings or qualifications attached.”

However, he maintained that applicants must present a product with an aim of value addition upon which the centre will offer training and necessary skills to allow for effective commercialisation of the product.

Citing examples such as the Kiira EV and a variety of quality products produced under the FTBIC, Prof. Kyamuhangire added that Makerere University has earned the trust of Government by proving that funds allocated under the Presidential Initiative on Science and Technology.

He expressed hope that the progress would encourage Government to allocate the rest of the funds required for the completion of sub-phase II.  

The Project will be executed Excel Construction Limited- which saw the completion of FBTIC Phase I houses and a fully-fledged bakery.

Also present in the launch were the Principal CAES, Prof. Bernard Bashaasha, Ms. Komugisha Consolate and the Project Architect and Manager, Plan Systems represented by Arch. Isaac Nyabwana.

Mr. Yusuf Kiranda, urged the awarded company to uphold highest quality of standards and complete the project on time.