Kampala. The construction project of the Kiira Motors Vehicle plant had reached 75percent level in December 2020, hence the first car plant in Uganda is in its final phase, RedPepper Online‘s Tonny Akankwasa reports
The plant will comprise 40,000 Square Meter Production Facilities with the capacity to produce 22 motor vehicles daily, according to the Ministry of Science, Technology & Innovation (MoSTI),.
“Kiira Motors Corporation will initially make buses and trucks so as to facilitate public transportation in the country,” Minister in Charge of Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr Elioda Tumwesigye said.
Minister Tumwesigye revealed the development while addressing journalists at the OPM Auditorium on the Ministry’s performance in implementing the ruling NRM party manifesto in the last five years.
Through technology transfer with China High-Tech Corporation and utilizing production facilities at the Luwero Industries in Nakasongola, the Kayoola EVS, a premium zero-emissions City Bus with a range of 300km was developed and 2 units built and are currently providing shuttle services for Civil Aviation Authority Staff between Kampala and Entebbe.
Dr. Tumwesigye says the Kayoola EVS Bus has an operating cost of UGX 320 per 1 KM compared to a Diesel Bus Equivalent with UGX 1,670 cost per 1 KM thus better energy efficiency.
“It is important to note that the floor of the Kayoola EVS is made out of Bamboo, the interior mainly plastics and aluminum with a steel superstructure and body panels. These provide an unprecedented opportunity for participation of a wide range of local manufacturers making components to feed the production line at the Kiira Vehicle Plant addressing the key aspects of Supply Chain Localization and engendering Import Substitution,” he explained.
In his opinion, the immediate need for buses in Uganda can be approached by KMC working with Luweero Industries Limited to produce 8 buses monthly before the operationalization of the Kiira Vehicle Plant in Jinja.
The way forward, Hon. Tumwesigye says the ministry is to focus on increasing the application of STI in National programs, increasing utilization of appropriate technologies, increasing R&D activities, enhancing the development of appropriate technologies, increasing funding for innovation, technology development, and transfer, and increasing innovation in all economic sectors.
Besides that; developing a National Technology Development and Transfer Regulatory framework, developing strategic local and international partnerships and cooperation on technology transfer and adoption Support development, commercialization of commodities and other products from enterprises/innovations, supporting the development of standards for domestic products and services, establishing platforms for the interaction between the academia, research institutions, industry, state & non-state actors and increasing public investment in technology transfer and adoption.
Among others, the key targets to be achieved include: increasing the Global Innovation Index from 25.32 to 35; increasing Gross Expenditure on R & D as a percentage of GDP (GERD) from 0.4% t to 1%, increasing business enterprise sector spending on R&D (% of GDP) from 0.01 % to 0.21 % and increase Innovations as measured by patents registered from 3 to 2000 annually.
However, the sector lacks Institutional and National capacity in Science, Technology and Research.