Uganda’s capital is losing clients from its central business districts to more peripheral locations according to Knight Frank’s half-year report. The Daily Monitor reported that companies in the East African city have in recent times grown weary of the costs of maintaining an office in the CBD due to the city’s congestion problems.
It has also become clear that the expansion of the city along various axis outside the urban core has generated industrial pockets which continue to attract companies into shifting base to those new locations.
Mr Gideon Badagawa, the Private Sector Foundation Uganda said that “Key services that previously pulled most people into the CBD such as banks and supermarkets, among others are now well established in the secondary suburbs”, explaining that companies have found it more affordable to establish offices in suburbs of Ntinda and Bugolobi, among others.
The Knight Frank report also reported a 5% increase in occupancy rates in prime residential suburbs of Nakasero, Kololo, Naguru and Bugolobi in addition to a 9% increase in demand for residential property for rent in the secondary residential suburbs of greater Kampala particularly Kira, Najjera, Kyanja, Namugongo and Naalya.
This is on the back of an increase in stock of newly constructed residential properties, (apartment blocks in particular) targeting middle-income segment of the city.
In the office sector, demand for Grade A commercial office space increased by 2% in the first half of 2018 while there was a 7% decline in occupancy rates for Grade B office space during the same period.
Kampala’s retail scene has also been growing with Shoprite opening at Acacia and Victoria Malls in April and June respectively. Retailers have been reporting an 11% year on year growth to date.
The Government of Uganda is in the process of establishing a minimum of twenty-two Industrial and Business Parks (IBP’s) throughout the Country to mainly stimulate job creation, and value addition to locally available raw materials. This will boost the industrial segment which is progressively taking shape.