ARUA, Uganda, May 21, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Pan African Tobacco Group (PTG) Founder Tribert Rujugiro Ayabatwa announced today that ground has been broken on the company's new $20 million tobacco processing and production operation in northern Uganda.
The new warehouse and factory, located in Arua, will be operational in five months and will produce its own water and electricity. Once up and running, it will employ 200 permanent and 2,000 seasonal employees. It will also contract with 1,500 drivers to transport the product from Arua to PTG factories in Kampala, Uganda; Bujumbura, Burundi; Dar es Salaam, Zanzibar; Yei, South Sudan and Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo. The number of area farmers providing tobacco leaves to the Arua plant will increase to 13,000.
"With this expansion, PTG will produce a high-quality product while also providing hundreds of good-paying jobs to Sub-Saharan Africa," Ayabatwa said. "I am thrilled to announce that we are officially underway."
Uganda's State Minister for Trade, Industries and Co-operatives, the Honorable David Wakikona, was the guest of honor at the facility's groundbreaking on May 17. Wakikona described it as a landmark moment for the country and region. Calling the new facility a job-creator and a timely investment, he praised the PTG for its commitment to improving tobacco production and the quality of exports to other regions.
"This factory of such funding magnitude in a rural setting like Arua is a landmark in the history of Uganda," Wakikona said. It is especially important, he said, because of the jobs that will be created, "plus all associated amenities that will benefit the rural population and put more money into their pockets."
The PTG expansion calls for a new 30,000 square-meter warehouse and a factory that will process 10 tons of green tobacco per hour. PTG already has a strong footprint in the region: it invests $18 million per year in tobacco farming.
For more information about PTG and its founder Tribert Rujugiro Ayabatwa, log on to: www.panafricantobaccogroup.com
Erin Billings, Podesta Group
SOURCE Pan African Tobacco Group