President Yoweri Museveni has reiterated his determination to superintend over Uganda’s industrialization agenda by once again making a public pledge that government will take the lead in buying electric buses produced by Uganda’s automaker Kiira Motors Corporation (KMC).
“ If you make electric buses , the government will buy them for the different institutions , the schools, parliament , the army among others ,” Museveni stressed ,clearly indicating that government will off -take demand for locally produced E- mobility products .
President Museveni also promised more funding to complete construction of the Kiira Vehicle Plant-the largest in East and Central Africa . Once at full operational capacity ,KMC executives led by the Executive Chairman , Prof. Sandy Stevens Tickodri-Togboa and CEO Paul Isaac Musasizi say the plant will produce 22 buses a day in two shifts and 5,000 per year .
Two Generals meet , Katumaba Wamala and James Mugira as Finance Minister Matia Kasaija and State House Comptroller Mrs. Jane Barekye look on
Museveni was speaking at the closing ceremony of a two day -4th retreat for over 300 business leaders which was organized by the Presidential CEOs Forum (PCF) and held at the Kiira Vehicle Plant in Jinja under the theme: Positioning Uganda as a net source of E-Mobility Solutions in Africa.
While justifying his firm stand for value addition for all Uganda’s abundant natural resources through local manufacturing , President Museveni regretted to note that countries like South Korea , Japan do not have the resources that Uganda has and yet they are far more prosperous .
“Although we have been able to achieve some success, the economy has not achieved that qualitative leap we desire on account of uninformed politicians and civil servants delaying and frustrating investors and local manufacturers . I therefore, call upon the political class, especially the NRM politicians and the civil servants to get out this ‘sleeping’. “ Museveni stated .
He said that Uganda’s struggle now ,was to have the economy jump from the current USD 55bn to USD 550 . Museveni said this ambitious target can be achieved through four dimensions namely; having the 39% of the homesteads joining the money economy ,value addition , expanding and deepening the services sector and the knowledge economy where you use skills and innovations to produce products .
The President called upon Ugandans to support UPDF’s National Enterprise Corporation (NEC), explaining that it has the capacity to help the country build an independent, integrated and self-sustaining economy.
“I want to thank Lt. Gen James Mugira, the Managing Director of the National Enterprise Corporation and his group. You can see that your children are educated, they have all the capacity but the problem has been the backup.
They are not utilized so if the whole system wakes up and understand our original point number five of building an independent integrated, self-sustaining economy, they will do it, these people are educated. We already have a very educated workforce, but they don’t have any backup,” President Museveni said.
Prime Minister Nabbanja being welcomed by the PCF Board Chair, Barbra Mulwana
American based global automotive engineering and business executive , Mr. Edward Hightower who delivered a key note address at the event said that Uganda was on the right path to tap into the USD 17 trillions global automotive market where Africa combined has less than 2% share .
Hightower, explained that with 30,000 parts that make-up a moving vehicle , this presents many opportunities for Ugandans to locally produce spares and parts along the automotive value chain which makes car production an industry of industries.
STI Minister Dr. monica Musenero, Energy Minister Ruth Nankabirwa, PM Robinah Nabbanja and First Deputy PM Rebecca Kadaga made a strong presence of female cabinet ministers
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 which will lead to the country’s qualitative leap in economic growth and national development .
The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Finance , Planning and Economic Development who is also the Secretary to Treasury Mr. Ramathan Ggoobi thanked President Museveni for the consistent commitment and resolve in promoting Uganda’s industrialization agenda.
Secretary to Treasury Ramathan Ggoobi highlighted the economic achivements under PCF
“ Your excellency ,industrialization lies at the heart of your vision and guidance you have given that in the next 10 years manufacturing should contribute at least a third of the national GDP, employ at least 26% of the population from 9% and 50% of the country’s exports should be manufactured locally ,” Ggoobi stated.
Lt. Gen . James Mugira, MD and CEO of the National Enterprise Corporation, the Commercial and business arm of the MODVA /UPDF,was particularly happy that President Museveni had the courage and confidence to entrust the construction of the Kiira Vehicle Plant –the largest in East and Central Africa to UPDF’s National Enterprise Corporation (NEC).
“It was your Excellency’s personal decision and Directive that the Kiira Motors Project, which is our flagship Project as NEC, be undertaken by NEC utilising UPDF engineers.
I therefore, wish to thank Your Excellency for the trust and confidence and giving us the opportunity to undertake the construction of this Strategic Project which has enabled us to showcase and demonstrate our capability as NEC and UPDF in the field of construction.
This has in turn helped us to debunk the thinking almost bordering on slave mentality that as a country we always have to depend on foreign construction companies which most times, repatriate some if not all the profits out of the country; and has also helped in a way to break that dependence syndrome most times promoted and perpetrated by self-seekers and the comprador bourgeoisie class serving foreign interests,” Mugira said .
Mugira added that KVP project has further provided a good platform for consolidating and upskilling the NEC/UPDF construction team which is now well positioned to undertake major construction and infrastructure projects in the country.
The event as attended by senior government officials who included , PM Robinah Nabbanja, Finance Minister Matia Kasaija, Works and Transport Minister Gen. Edward Katumba Wamala, STI Minister Dr. Monica Musenero and Minister of Energy Ruth Nankabirwa among others .
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