By Paul Sserwanga
Kiira Motors Corporation Limited exhibited their Kayoola Solar Bus at the Uganda International Trade Fair at UMA show grounds at Lugogo last week, and a number of Ugandans expressed eagerness to buy vehicles made in Uganda.
Show-goers , including businessmen, proprietors of schools and bus companies who visited the KMC stall, expressed happiness at the progress made by the company which will put vehicles made in Uganda on the market for the first time next year.
“This is the right direction for the development of our country . It is this kind of innovation and industry enterprise that will put to great use our abundant raw materials . The challenges not withstanding, the country can benefit enormously from the innovative work of indigenous companies such as Kiira Motors,” Abby Muburi Nsubuga stated.
Alice Acheng, a businesswoman from Lira was overwhelmed on seeing the Kayoola Solar Bus for the first time.
“I have read a lot about this great innovation of our country in the media but now I can see the real bus. The government should continue supporting initiatives of this nature to foster economic growth and attain a middle income status,” she said.
Acheng, however, expressed concern at the slow pace of producing cars in Uganda, noting that such delays can only benefit competitors in the East African region who will run away with the biggest percentage of the automotive industry market share.
Kiira Motors Corporation, the company behind Africa’s first zero emissions electric traction bus – the Kayoola Solar Bus, was the Green Mobility Technology Exhibitor during this year’s International Trade Fair as Uganda marks its 55th independence anniversary.
KMC Vice President, Allan Muhumuza, said that the company was now taking orders to produce buses in 2018.
Muhumuza said there would be many economic opportunities for Ugandans across the automotive value chain once production of buses commencing next year.
This view was echoed by JB Kakande who said that Ugandans should be proud of products that are made in Uganda and seize the opportunities that are created by the locally based manufacturing industries.
Diana Kagabane, a businesswoman, noted that there was no way Uganda would develop when we are importing everything that we use from abroad .
“Ideally government departments like the Army, Prisons, and Police should be the first clients of KMC. The company needs both private and government support to create production volumes that will make it sustainable over the long haul, ” she stated.
Uganda Manufactures Association wants all government departments and ministries to buy products manufactured in Uganda to increase the production and consumption of locally produced goods and services.
With the Buy Uganda Build Uganda policy now in place, the country ‘s target is to nearly double its income within the coming three years from the current GDP of $25b to about $45b.
On average, every Ugandan is expected to be earning $1040 then, up from the current $780.
For this to be attained, government must put in place a programme that is strictly monitored and supervised to deliver on local content/Buy Uganda Build Uganda (BUBU) policy.
The importance of the automotive industry for emerging markets in Asia and Africa cannot be over emphasized given the fact that it had a global net value of US$1,654 billion by 2015, registering a 30% increase from1995 to 2015.
To make orders for Kiira Motors Buses contact them on 0393517888 or send an email on firstname.lastname@example.org