Uganda’s iconic Mbarara Makhan Singh Market and Benchmark Solutions Limited, a Kenyan-based structured trade and project financing advisory firm, have entered into a funding agreement of USD11.6 million with the Mbarara Makhan Singh Market Landlords Association.
The signing of this agreement, which occurred in Kenya, was led by Laura Akunga Muriithi Mwenje, the Chief Executive Officer of Benchmark Solutions, and Thomas Mukundane, the Chairman of the Mbarara Makhan Singh Market Landlords Association.
This partnership represents a significant step forward in rejuvenating the Mbarara Makhan Singh Market, a trading center that has played a pivotal role in regional commerce in Mbarara since 1960. Akunga expressed her enthusiasm for being part of this crucial endeavor, underscoring its significance.
Originally established in 2007 with 300 members, the Mbarara Makhan Singh Market Landlords Association has grown to encompass 639 members and has been responsible for overseeing the market’s management.
The market, situated on 1.7 acres of land in the heart of Mbarara City’s central business district, includes various facilities such as 67 lockup shops, 106 kiosks, 150 stalls, 16 restaurants, and 69 second-hand clothing shades. However, these facilities have deteriorated over the years and have become functionally and economically obsolete.
The USD11.6 million in real estate project financing is designated for the transformation of the existing market into a modern, seven-story shopping center. This new development will comprise 280 lockup shops, 130 shelled rooms, 330 stalls, a day-care center, 30 toilet facilities, 60 underground parking bays, and 30 roadside parking bays.
The primary aim of this project is to modernize the market, creating a contemporary and conducive environment for the small-scale vendors operating within Mbarara Makhan Singh Market, as stated by Mukundane.
The ambitious renovation work is expected to be completed within a timeframe of 28 to 36 months, providing a fresh lease of life to this historically significant trading center. The collaborative effort between Benchmark Solutions and the Mbarara Makhan Singh Market Landlords Association holds the promise of revitalizing the local economy and preserving the rich heritage of Mbarara’s regional commerce.
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