MINISTER NABAKOOBA SAYS UGANDA’S KAYOOLA ELECTRIC BUSES KEY FOR A CLEAN ENERGY REVOLUTION IN AFRICA

The New Kiira Motors fully electric buses have laid a solid foundation for a clean energy revolution in Uganda and the East African region, the Minister of Information Communication Technology  (ICT) and  National Guidance, Ms. Judith Nabakooba, has said.

“ The new Kayoola Electric buses built locally with the Kiira Motors green mobility technologies should set the stage for a clean energy revolution in Uganda, East African region and the African continent while enhancing value addition, job and wealth creation,” Nabakooba stated while addressing  Government Communications Officers drawn from government Ministries, Departments, and Agencies,(MDA) at the Ministry of Science Technology and Innovation in Kampala.

Flanked by the Minister of Science Technology and Innovation, Dr. Elioda Tumwesigye, Nabakooba noted that by producing clean energy-efficient vehicles, Uganda has demonstrated that it has the capabilities to champion green mobility-mass transportation solutions for cities and urban centers. “These innovations create many opportunities across the automotive industry value chain which Ugandans should tap into.  We should harness and add value to the abundant raw materials and minerals available in the country – to manufacture the various parts needed to produce cars in Uganda. This will ultimately lead to job creation and increase incomes for Ugandans especially the youth,” she said.

While underscoring the importance of a vibrant automotive industry for  the country’s industrialization agenda , Nabakooba  called upon the government communications officials to embrace it and inform the general public about the many  available opportunities for national economic growth and development.

She hailed  President Yoweri Museveni for his vision to promote science and technology- noting that the commercialization of  many Ugandan innovations such as the  Kayoola electric buses was the right path to industrialisation.

Dr. Elioda Tumwebaze  said that  with the car market expected to hit 500,000 units (half a million vehicles )  bought every year in the East African Region alone by 2027, the automotive  industry will be one of Uganda’s and the region ‘s major economic drivers for many years to come.

“ Coupled with a rapid growing population not only in Uganda but the African continent and availability of  vast natural resources like iron ore Ugandans should prepare themselves to supply car parts and other services. The benefits are huge and government will continue to promote local content participation across the value chain,” he emphasized .

Later, Nabakooba flagged off the government communication officers’ Kayoola Electric bus maiden trip to the Kiira Vehicles Plant site in Jinja.

The  Kayoola EVS’ drive to Jinja  marked a  major milestone for Uganda’s second market validation electric bus as  Kiira  Motors  readies to produce commercial cars for the first time in its history .

The Kayola electric bus was built using green mobility technologies developed by engineers Kiira Motors with support from their technology partners Chinese ‘s leading Original Equipment Manufacturer,(OEP), CHTC Motor. Co. Ltd, KMC’s Executive Chairman, Prof. Sandy Stevens Tickodri-Togboa,said while addressing the government communicators at the Kiira Vehicles Plant site.

According to , Eng. Richard Madanda , the Kayoola electric buses can cover a distance of 300 kilometers under a single charge. The bus has a  speed governor that allows a maximum speed of 80 kilometers per hour but can pick up to a speed of 140 Kilometers per hour .

Madanda said that a team of 20 personnel , 10 from Kiira Motors and 10 from the Uganda People’s Defence Forces , (UPDF) Luwero Industries Ltd , built the second bus in under two months .

Kiira Motors CEO,Mr. Paul Isaac Musasizi,said the company now has proven capacity to build and produce eight buses a month at their temporary base at Luwero Industries in Nakasongola. KMC is expected to produce an initial 5,000 vehicles per year when the Kiira Vehicles Plant at the Jinja Industrial and Business Park is commissioned in June 2021.

Mr. Allan Muhumuza, the Business Development Manager , said more buses will be built by the company this  year and these will include clean diesel combustion engine buses along side the electric ones and the company is now ready to take orders from both government and the private sector .

The Under Secretary at the Ministry of Science technology and Innovation Mr. Freddie Mugunga urged the government’s spokespersons to promote government ‘s policy of Buy Uganda Build Uganda (BUBU) to grow the local industries .

The Stellar Kayoola Electric Bus

The Kayoola EVS buses have a capacity of 90 passengers (49 sitting and 41 standing) while the diesel engine ones will seat 65 passengers . The buses will be built locally by KMC engineers using technologies developed by the company and in partnership with the UPDF’s Luwero Industries Limited led by Brig. Gen Octavius Butuuro.  Luwero Industries is a subsidiary of the National Enterprise Corporation (NEC) the business arm of the army headed by the amiable Gen. James Mugira.

A number of lady engineers have participated in the building of the second Kayoola electric bus and these include, Eng.Doreen Orishaba, Eng.Pauline Korukundo, Eng.Vanessa Nakalanzi, Ms.Thatcher Mpanga, Ms.Brenda Nagginda and Ms. Susan Najjulu .

Prof. Tickodri was full of praises for President Yoweri Museveni who believed in the mission and has given Kiira Motors enormous support over the years . “ Without General Yoweri Museveni’s support, Kiira Motors wouldn’t be where we are right now –at the world stage to showcase Uganda’s electric car production capabilities ,” he stated .

MOSES SSERWANGA

MOSES SSERWANGA

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

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