Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The first board of directors of Kiira Motors, KMC has been inaugurated.
KMC was the first and so far, the only electric vehicle producing company in Uganda and the continent of Africa.
The automotive industry and Kiira Motors, in particular, has been set among the priority areas in the 5-year National Development Plan III that will drive the industrialization of the economy.
The board that includes eminent personalities will be charged with the promotion of local manufacturing of motor vehicles, establishment of an efficient, integrated, sustainable, safe and inclusive public transport system and promotion of environmentally friendly transport solutions.
The members of the board appointed last month include Prof. Sandy Stevens Tickodri who is currently the Executive Chairman, David Omara Obong, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Science, Technology and innovation, Prof. Barnabas Nawangwe -the Vice-Chancellor of Makerere University and Yusuf Kiranda Ag. Makerere University Secretary.
The others are Paul Isaac Musasizi- the CEO of KMC, Basil Ajer- Director at MoSTI, Ronald Rwankangi, Rev. Sister Mary Grace Akiror, Aisha Naiga, Eng. Henry Alinaitwe, Christine Sekyana, Yudaya Babirye and Dr Charles Barugahare.
The outgoing Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Elioda Tumwesigye asserted that the new board must ensure that the company’s innovations and products are turned into a viable business that will lead to import substitution, create jobs and wealth for millions of Ugandans across the automotive industry value chain.
“We look forward to seeing Ugandan made vehicles driven across the African continent and elsewhere in the world and have Kiira Motors listed on the stock exchange,” Dr Tumwesigye stated.
The ministry said the company should take advantage of the recent statement by President Museveni to stop the importation of buses so that the market can rely on, and grow KMC.
“Other opportunities are the African Development Bank-supported project implemented by KCCA that among others seeks to produce 50 Eco- Buses (Electric Buses)”, said Minister Tumwesigye.
There is also a proposal for KMC to manufacture 1,030 Bus units, 980 of which will be Diesel and 50 Electric, Tondeka Metro Mass Transit Bus service for the Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area, funded by COMESA’s PTA Bank.
“This project has an additional prospect of a long term Technology Transfer and supply chain localization partnership with the Chinese Company Golden Dragon for commercial production of 30,000 buses targeting the regional market and reaching 65% auto parts localization by 2030.”
Kiira Motors so far has two fully electric buses -the Kayoola EVS and the Kayoola Diesel Coach in commercial service deployed to offer shuttle services for the staff of the Civil Aviation Authority.
The Chief Executive Officer Paul Musasizi says the company currently can produce 50 units per day, both diesel and electric, in partnerships with Luwero Industries, a facility owned by the Uganda army.
Kiira Motors Corporation is 96% owned by the government through the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, while the other 4% shares are held by Makerere University.
Kiira Motors Corporation is currently leveraging government support and goodwill to cement its position as a commercial vehicle Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) and pioneers of electric mobility in the East African region and the African content.
The Executive Chairman, Prof Tickodri said the Board’s priorities will be guided by the strategic objectives for Kiira Motors Corporation which is to develop and make, sell Motor Vehicles and Vehicle Components for the African market.
The other is to provide design, software development, engineering and testing services to the Global Automotive Industry and Adjacent Industries (Electronics, Aerospace, Agriculture, Medical Devices, Construction etc.)”.
Other components of Mission Vehicles Made in Uganda will include the support for the establishment of efficient, integrated, safe and inclusive public transport systems; advanced development and adoption of Connected, Autonomous, Shared, and Electric (CASE) vehicle technology in line with the automotive industry current and future trends, says KMC.
Without a board, the Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation have been carrying out the role of establishing the governance and management structures of KMC and providing policy guidance and oversight to the young automotive industry.
In 2018 government approved the roadmap for the Kiira Vehicle Plant and allocated 100 acres of land at the Jinja Industrial and Business Park, and a capitalisation plan for the company to construct and equip the plant. Construction is still on-going.