The Ugandan government plans to have its first locally-assembled vehicle by 2020 under the multi-million dollar Kiira Electric Vehicle Project, a high ranking official said Monday.
Government has since approved the roadmap for the commercialization of project, paving way for the investment of a staggering Shs 140bn in the vehicle assembly business over a period of four years.
“We are going to start construction works on the assembly plant in Jinja this year. Already, we are extending high voltage electricity and water to the site,” said Kiira Motors Corporation (KMC) boss, Prof Tickodri Togboa.
Tickodri said government has allocated Shs 24bn in the 2018/19 financial year to KMC to construct the start-up Kiira vehicle plant facilities expected to lead to the production of 5,000 vehicles per year.
The huge sum of money will as well cater for the construction of access roads, connection to water pipeline and electricity grid, assembly shops, offices, warehouses, yards, test track, site drainage, water treatment plant, solid waste sorting yard and recreation amenities.
The development is seen as a giant step forward in creation of jobs and developing a stronger industrial sector needed to transform the country’s economy.
Speaking Tuesday during a media breakfast with media editors in Kampala, Tickodri said KMC would sign partnership agreements with reputable vehicle manufacturers for vehicle assembly and technology transfer to build trust in the quality of locally assembled vehicles.
Construction of the assembly plant is expected to be concluded by 2019.
“What we want is build enough capacity to also invite Nisan, Toyota and other big companies to produce their cars from here for regional markets,” said Tickodri.
Such initiatives worked for Singapore as it sought to transfer skills to its nationals and also develop an export-oriented industrial sector.
Tickodri said a locally assembled car will cost about $28,000 (Shs 112m).
He, however, said government would invite financial institutions to provide financing facilities to Ugandans to obtain cars on lease.
“This is a big sum of money. We want a situation where you don’t have to raise the entire sum upfront but pay for about five years,” emphasised Tickodri.
Under phase 1, Pilot Electric Buses will be rolled out in Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area with the pioneer route of Entebbe-Kampala.
KMC will later develop the National Automotive Local content participation strategy and policy and explore policy interventions to for domestic automotive market development.
The institution also plans to develop staff capacity in automotive engineering, manufacturing systems, vehicle assembly and technology commercialization and also institute marketing and sales strategies for the Kiira vehicle plant offering. In the long run, KMC plans to assemble buses, pick-ups and trucks.
The Kiira Electric Vehicle Project evolved from a staff and students’ extra curricula activity at Makerere University, into a national program championing value addition in the domestic automotive industry for job creation and diversification of the economy in line with NDP II and Vision 2040
This was realised with Government support provided through the Presidential Initiative for Science, Technology and Innovation.
Government and Makerere University established Kiira Motors Corporation a business venture for the Commercialisation of the Kiira Electric Vehicle Project.
Government acting through Uganda Investment Authority, allocated 100 acres of land at the Jinja Industrial and Business Park to provide a home for the Kiira Vehicle Plant.
Tickodri said the commercialization of the Kiira Electric Vehicle Project is expected to catalyse investment by small and medium enterprises in the manufacture of vehicle parts, components and autonomy systems (batteries, brake pads, seats, bolts and nuts, bumpers, vehicle electronics, navigation systems, among others); increase demand for the utilization of natural resources such as steel from iron ore deposits (260 Million Metric Tons), plastics from oil and gas, batteries from graphite, lithium and cobalt deposits, vehicle upholstery and interior padding from cotton and leather, glass from silica and sand among others.
It’s also expected to contribute to employment with over 940 jobs estimated from the Start-Up Investment. The full-scale plant operation is estimated to create over 2,000 direct jobs and 12,000 indirect jobs.
Nsanzimana Ernest ni Umwanditsi mukuru w’Ikinyamakuru Umuryango. Yatangiye gukorera iki kinyamakuru muri Nzeli 2016, afite Impamyabumenyi y’Icyiciro cya Kabiri cya Kaminuza (A0) mu Itangazamakuru n’Itumanaho yakuye muri Kaminuza y’u Rwanda Ishuri ry’ itangazamakuru n’ itumanaho