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Clifton Packaging is set to tie up a landmark partnership agreement with the Ugandan government to supply water purification systems across the country.

The Leicester-based flexibles group, which is pioneering the ‘Buy African, Build Africa' project to build packaging centres across the continent, is due to finalise the deal in the coming weeks following a visit to the country's president Yoweri Museveni last week.

Under the deal, Clifton will work with the Ugandan Industrial Research Institute to set up centres of excellence around the country that will offer packaging services to farmers.

The company will also roll out a network of ultra-violet-based water purification systems to provide clean water in rural areas. Both projects are a result of Clifton chairman Khalid Sheikh's BABA project, which he presented to African government ministers at a summit of Comesa, the trade bloc covering 19 countries in eastern and southern Africa, at the start of June.

Sheikh told Packaging News that the plan was to provide up to 200 packaging units across Uganda and that initially, the company would supply collapsible and reusable 10-litre and 20-litre pouches to carry water from the purification systems. Retail-sized packs would come later.

Sheikh added that the Ugandan government now wanted the first packaging ‘Centre of Excellence' to open in Kampala, the capital of Uganda, within weeks.

"This project will just expand one step at a time," he said. "There's plenty of work to do."