GOVERNMENT MINISTRIES ,AGENCIES FINALISE DRAFT NATIONAL AUTOMOTIVE INDUSTRY POLICY AS KIIRA MOTORS IS SET TO PRODUCE MORE CARS THIS YEAR

By Moses  Sserwanga

Officials drawn from several government ministries and agencies have studied ,discussed and finalized the draft National Automotive Industry Policy , the first government blue print that will shape the development of the car production industry in Uganda.

The new policy  once approved by cabinet  will set in motion the much anticipated  automotive industry supply chain localization , commercialization and coordinate enterprise development across the value chain ; lead to environmentally friendly and sustainable urban transport modes and put in place standards and regulations for the automotive industry .

The policy is also intended to push for the establishment of the requisite automotive infrastructure and ensure capital development , innovation , research and development in the automotive industry among others.

The draft National Automotive Industry Policy was finalized by a task force that was set up by the Minister of Science ,Technology and Innovation (MOSTI)  Dr. Elioda Tumwesigye. The Task Force members included  , Mr. Emmanuel Freddie Mugunga ,who is the Chairman and Accounting Officer at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral  Development ,Eng. Tonny B. Kavuma the Chief Mechanical Engineer, Ministry of Works and Transport  (Deputy Chairman).

Other members are ,Mr. Basil Ajer, Director  Technoprenuership (MOSTI), Mr. Emmanuel Mutahunga , Commissioner External Trade ,(MOFPED), Mr. Morish  Ocen Commissioner Commercialization  (MOSTI), Mr.  Arthur Makara Commissioner ST&I Advancement and Outreach , Mr. Alfred Oro Under Secretary (MOSTI) , Eng. Jacob Lumonya Principal Mechanical Engineer (MOWT), Mr Moses Ogwapus – Commissioner (MoFPED), Mr Richard Ebong (Csl) – UNBS,. Mr Omene Emmanuel – Principal Economist – MoSTI and Mr Zebosi Nicholas – Principal Policy Analyst – MoSTI.

They were supported by a secretariat led by the Kiira Motors Corporation Chief Executive Officer, (CEO) , Mr. Paul Isaac Musasizi. The secretariat also included Mr. Arthur Asiimwe Tumusiime, the Director Operations at KMC, Mr. Allan Muhumuza, Director Marketing and Sales , Ms. Thatcher Mpanga ,Product Design Manager , And Mr. Elias Bwambale ,Senior Legal Officer.KMC is led by the Executive Chairman , Prof. Sandy Stevens Tickodri -Togboa.

According to the task force team , this government  policy document  highlights the roles and responsibilities of the  various government ministries and agencies to promote development of the nascent automotive industry in Uganda .

For instance , the policy will see the establishment of an Automotive Industry Governing Body  to oversee policy implementation enforcement , monitoring , review and also engage in resource mobilization for the general development of the industry .

According to the experts , the policy through the Ministry of Works and Transport -is set  to streamline the registration of the vehicle powertrain types including combustion engine, electric , hybrid ; approve designs and supervise all civil works during the development  of vehicle plants , automotive industrial and technology parks and other auto parts manufacturing facilities in the country.

Other government institutions with a role to play for the growth of the car production  industry in Uganda include ,Ministries of Education and Sports, Ministry of Energy , Ministry of Local Government , Ministry of Trade , Industry and Cooperatives, the Private Sector and Development partners among others.

The policy is the first of the kind that has been developed over the last past year and is set to catalyse the development of the indigenous automotive Industry in Uganda with local car manufacturers -Kiira Motors Corporation taking the lead.  Already , Uganda’s  car production flagship -Kiira Motors is championing home grown -green mobility technologies on the African continent having produced the Kayoola EVS -the fully electric buses that are now deployed and offering shuttle services for the Staff of Civil Aviation Authority.

Automotive industry has great potential to contribute towards the economic and social transformation  of the country in line with national Vision 2040. Industry experts have projected that car production in Uganda will provide unprecedented  opportunities  for promoting value addition to Uganda’s mineral and other natural resources with the view of import  substitution and export promotion of vehicles , parts, components and systems.

With local car production taking center stage in the year 2021, government’s industrialization policy will be realized thus propelling  Uganda into a middle-income economy through import substitution and export-oriented production to enhance household incomes and improve the quality of life of all Ugandans.

The Task Force members agreed that following the stakeholder validation of the policy, its implementation will commence for a period of 10 years -effective from the date of its launch and will be reviewed after five years of operationalization to ensure that it responds to the needs of the Automotive Industry .

msserwanga@gmail.com

MOSES SSERWANGA

Writer is a media and communications consultant And Advocate of the High Court of Uganda

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