The President of São Tomé and Príncipe, H.E. Carlos Manuel Vila Nova, has today visited the Kiira Vehicle Plant in Jinja District.
During the visit, H.E. Vila Nova praised the vehicle plant as an impressive project. “When we see the implementation of such a project, we go back and see where to start,” he said.
H.E Vila Nova also thanked President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni for his unwavering commitment to steering Uganda’s development.
“The leadership of my brother, H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, is very important in all of this. I want to thank him on behalf of my delegation and my people for everything he is doing for Uganda and Africa. I also want to thank all of you for what you are doing in the implementation of this project,” he added.
President Vila Nova is in the country on a two-day working visit.
The Kiira Motors Corporation Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Paul Isaac Musasizi, warmly welcomed H.E. Vila Nova to the vehicle plant and informed him that the facility was established to champion the development of Uganda’s domestic automotive value chain for job and wealth creation through technology transfer, supply chain localization, and contract manufacturing.
“This company was born out of the Presidential Initiative for Science, Technology, and Innovation at Makerere University, which is one of the leading institutions of higher education in Africa. Your Excellency, here where you are, we are setting up a vehicle plant on over 100 acres of land, and we are working with the National Enterprise Corporation (NEC), which is under the Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF), and they are the ones doing the construction that is being supervised by a team of engineers, architects, surveyors, and other technical people from Makerere University,” Mr. Musasizi said.
“Kiira Motors Corporation is really the brainchild of His Excellency the President, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, and it is dear to him. He understood that our country needs to advance in industrialization, and one of the aspects we need to work on is making our own vehicles, particularly because when you make a vehicle, you open up industrialization in the iron and steel, silk, carpentry, electrical and electronics, textiles, leather, and so many different aspects that come together to make the over 70,000 parts of a vehicle,” he added.
Eng. Brian Buhanda, the General Manager – NEC Construction Works & Engineering Ltd said, “Kiira Motors is fully owned by the government, and we conduct our business through different subsidiaries, one of which is NEC Construction Works & Engineering, which is basically involved in such kinds of infrastructure development. Through collaboration as government bodies, we find ourselves in this particular development. All the facilities that you are visiting today are put up by our government and local companies.”
Kiira Motors Corporation and NEC signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the construction of Kiira Vehicle Plant Start-Up Facilities (Phase I) at the Jinja Industrial and Business Park based on the Force Account Mechanism provided for under Section 95(A) of the PPDA Act, 2003 (as amended). This was subsequent to clearance of the MOU by the Solicitor General.
The Kiira Vehicle Plant site was handed over to NEC on January 18, 2019, which commenced work on February 11, 2019.
The meeting was also attended by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gen. Jeje Odongo and the Director General of External Security Organization (ESO), Ambassador Joseph Ocwet.