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Uganda to test locally made vehicles before end of 2019, says minister Tumwesigye

KAMWENGE: The minister of Science Technology and innovations Dr Elioda Tumwesigye has assured Ugandans that before end of 2019, Uganda will be having its own made solar powered buses plying on the roads of Kampala and Entebbe.

In 2014, Uganda Investment Authority commissioned two companies- Kiira Motors Corporation owned by Makerere University College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology and China Engineering Limited- to start Car production in the country by 2018 but it passed before Ugandans could see a locally made vehicle on the road.

While addressing journalists in Kamwenge town on Friday, Dr Tumwesigye said government will start testing solar powered buses on Kampala-Entebbe road this year.

‘’Uganda as you are aware has got many innovators, some of the innovators working at Makerere University were able to engineer a prototype car that uses electricity, a car that uses hybrid both electricity and diesel.

They were also able to come up with a bus that uses solar energy but these have remained dreams because we have not seen them on our roads so the ministry of science technology and innovations has taken up that task and taken up what we call Kiira Motors. Kiira Motors is now part of our main ministry,’’ Dr Tumwesigye said.

He said government has already committed to raise Shs143b in four years to support the production of vehicles in the country and Shs24b is already secured for the process.

‘’ We have got government commitment to raise Shs143b in four years and in the first year which is this one, they have raised Shs24 b which Kiira Motors will have, to start up the process,’’ he said.

Already the president has instructed us to use National Enterprise Corporation (NEC) in collaboration with UPDF engineering brigade to build the assembly line because it is cheaper and we shall also be building capacity of our own Engineers in Uganda.

The minister further noted that they will start with buses before embarking on pickup double cabin vehicles.

“We are going to start with buses because it helps in transporting so many people and then we shall go on double cabin Pickups,’’ he added.

The Principal Science officer in charge of advancement and outreach at the ministry Dr. Nicholas Kawrija said the ministry started country wide campaigns sensitizing Ugandans on science and their contribution towards the development of the country through science, technology and innovations.

‘’The ministry is to work with all Local Governments in the country to promote science awareness and ensure public commitment, appreciation and support of Science, Technology Innovation (STI) as outlined in National Development Plan (NDP) 11 and we have started with Rwenzori districts and we plan to cover the whole country by the end of this year,’’ said Mr Kwarija.

By Daily Monitor

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