Dr. Birungi is an economist. He is a former economist lecturer at Makerere University and United Nation Development Programme chief economist. Dr. Birungi’s immediate former portfolio was at National Planning Authority as director for development planning.
Dr Patrick Birungi, the Uganda Development Corporation (UDC) first
substantive Executive Director, has assumed office. He was officially
inaugurated on Tuesday at the Ministry of Trade, Industries and
He replaces Emmanuel Mutahunga who has been the acting executive
director for about two years. Dr Birungi’s appointment is a key milestone
since government decided to revive UDC in 2008. The process has been going,
Dr Birungi is an economist. He is a former economist lecturer at Makerere
University and United Nation Development Programme chief economist. Dr
Birungi’s immediate former portfolio was at National Planning Authority as
director for development planning.
He was a key player in the crafting of the second National Development
Plan (NDP II) and a member of Presidential Economic Council (PEC) that steered
the process of recapitalization of Uganda Development Bank (UDB).
Birungi says that a move from policy development to implementation
motivated him to apply for the job.
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He promised to rebrand new UDC to recapture its lost glory. UDC
was formed in 1952, as the investment arm of government mandated to promote and
facilitate industrial and economic development of the country.
It registered numerous successes in promoting local industrial
development in 1950s and 1960s and was augmented with the addition of newly
nationalised industries in the early 1970s. The corporation nosedived in 1980s
and 1990s as privatization paced up before it was completely phased out in
“With my coming in, the branding is changing. So we will have a new brand
and I will try my level best to develop that brand into a very strong brand
that we can rely on,” he said. “Those who read or those who have so bit of
history, you know the UDC that we had before. It’s that kind of brand that we
want to build.”
Dr Birungi also promised to accelerate the pace of institutionalization of the
corporation through hiring of substantives staff in the coming months. He also
promised an aggressive investment plan.
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UDC’s key investment portfolio is Soroti Fruits Factory. The factory was
constructed using a grant from the Korea International Cooperation Agency
(KOICA), with the Teso Tropical Fruit Union and government through UDC owning
20 per cent and 80 per cent shares respectively. It’s set to be launched by the
president on Saturday this week.
The corporation also has investments in tea, sugar and mineral sectors
across the country.