By Sierra Ruth Arinaitwe
The Prime Minister of Uganda Hon. Robinah Nabbanja has urged the public and private sector players to embrace Science, technology and innovation (STI) to solve the problems facing Ugandans and steer economic growth and prosperity in the country.
Hon. Nabbanja was officiating at the official opening on the on-going National Science Week at the Kololo independence grounds and President Museveni is expected to preside over the event on Thursday.
The National Science Week – organized by the Secretariat of Science, Technology and Innovation – Office of the President has drawn a number of leading companies and academic institutions in the STI space in Uganda- and are showcasing their products and innovations to the general public. Among the leading exhibitor are Kiira Motors Corporation led by Prof . Sandy Stevens Tickodri- Togboa the Executive Chairman and Mr. Paul Isaac Musasizi the CEO. The company is showcasing its E- mobility technologies/products -including the Kayoola EVs (fully electric buses) and the Tondeka buses that were built in Uganda by Kiira Motors.
The Prime Minister noted that the exhibitions are a testimony to the huge potential and opportunities that science, technology and innovation holds for the country and thanked President Museveni for prioritizing the science sector.
“I would like to thank President Museveni and NRM for prioritizing investment in Science, Technology and Innovation which are key drivers in the development and prosperity of our country. Government will continue to create an enabling environment for investors and innovators by allocating more funding to research institutions,” Nabbanja said adding that science will enable the country achieve its vision 2040 and meet the SDGs.
Hon. Nabbanja recognized Kiira Motors Corporation (KMC) as one of the companies that is using science, technology and innovation to mitigate the challenges Uganda faces – such as the escalating fuel prices through the production of electric vehicles.
“I would like to appreciate Kiira Motors Corporation (KMC) for their great efforts in championing the transition to E-mobility in the Uganda,” she stated.
The Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Dr. Monica Musenero called upon the public to make orders for buses from Kiira Motors now that the company has publically demonstrated that it has the cabailities and capacity to produce vehicles at a commercial scale ..
Kiira Motors Corporation is a state enterprise established to champion value addition in the motor vehicle industry in Uganda. Among its products include; the all-electric Kayoola EVS which is exhibited at the Kololo independence grounds.
The Kayoola EVS is a fully electric bus specifically designed for urban mass transportation with a capacity of up to 90 passengers. At full charge, the Kayoola EVS has a range of up to 300 kms. It is also fitted with the state of the art safety and assistive technology for people with special needs including special seats and ramp for easy boarding and off boarding of people in wheelchairs.
Hamza Bananye a business person who visited the Kayoola EVS stall -appreciated Uganda’s ability to produce vehicles locally -saying it is a huge step for the country’s transport system.
“I am impressed with the electric Kayoola EVS, mostly because, it is economically favorable as it solves the problem of increased fuel prices like President Museveni suggested during one of his state of nation address.” Bananye also appreciated KMC ‘s products for their advanced technologies that keep emission levels at bay and protect the environment..
Bananye also appreciated the comfortable set-up inside the bus citing enough leg space and provision for ramp for people with special needs.
The National Science Week is running under the theme “Uganda 2020; The Future we want through Science, Technology and Innovation.” The exhibitions are focusing on themes ranging from mobility, aeronautics and space science, drugs, vaccine and therapeutics, food, beauty and cosmetology, fashion and apparel and fast moving consumer goods.