By Our Reporters
Key players in Uganda’s nascent E- mobility industry have decried the unpredictability of government ‘s policies , lack of incentives and the red-tape that are stifling investments and local production of electric vehicles and motorcycles among other bottlenecks .
The private investors in the E- mobility space were particularly concerned and surprised at the same time about government’s recent U-turn when it announced a zero rate import duty for the importation of fully built electric and hybrid vehicles into the country to promote electric vehicles and reduce pollution.
The local producers of electric vehicles and motorcycles argue that such a move will kill the local industries since the imported vehicles will be cheaper . They also want government to remove VAT on parts and materials used for the production E-vehicles and bikes .
The investors in the E- mobility sector were meeting ahead of the 4th Presidential CEOs Forum slated to take place from 2nd -3rd August 2023 at the Kiira Vehicle Plant in Jinja . The Forum will be held under the theme , “ Uganda’s Industrialization Agenda: Positioning Uganda as a net source of E- mobility solutions in Africa.”
The meeting was graced by the 3rd Deputy Prime Minister, Rukia Nakaddama who represented the Prime Minister, Robinah Nabbanja and was attended by the Minister of STI, Dr. Monica Musenero plus CEOs from the Business fraternity.
The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development who is also the Secretary to the Treasury, Mr. Ramathan Ggoobi, promised to work with the E-mobility industry players to address the issues which were raised in order to support and grow Uganda’s automotive industry .
Dr. Monica Musenero called for a science led socio-economic development pathway for Uganda. She explained that this approach to development will require the use of scientific knowledge and tools to identify and solve problems , create new products , services and improve processes and systems .
STI Minister Dr. Musenero addressing the media after the event
Mr. Allan Muhumuza Team Leader, Mobility Bureau Science, Technology & Innovation Secretariat Office of the President told the stakeholders that E-mobility presents a critical strategy for achieving sustainable mobility and economic development – noting that globally, electric vehicles(EVs) have demonstrated the ability to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, climate change and improve the quality of life.
“ Electric vehicles provide an appropriate solution to address the current development issues such as decarbonizing transportation, reduction in air and noise pollution, reducing reliance on imported fossil fuels, and creation of green Uganda fully transitioned to E-mobility for public transport and motorcycles by 2030 and passenger vehicle sales by 2040,” he stressed.
Muhumuza said that government was now focusing on local manufacturing of electric buses, motorcycles and vehicles with associated parts, components and systems. There is also need to establish electric vehicle charging infrastructure to support battery swapping, contact charging, wireless charging, E-trams, and any other emerging charging technologies among other interventions .
Mrs. Irene Birungi Mugisha, PCF Coordinator/CEO emphasized the need for industrialization to create jobs and wealth, decrease the import bill and increase export earnings.
She said that in order to speed Uganda’s industrialization agenda government should bring done Uganda Development Bank lending interest rate from 12% to 10% and consider creation of “Uganda Industrialization Authority” that has the mandate to consolidate and coordinate the national industrialization agenda.
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