East Africa: Saleh Flags Off Kayoola Bus for UN Expo

The May 23 to 27 exhibition on the sidelines of the United Nations Environment Assembly in Nairobi, Kenya will feature Kayoola solar bus, Uganda's newest car fascination.

Gen Salim Saleh, the commander of Operation Wealth Creation, flagged off the bus at Serene Suites during a meeting with staff of Kiira Motors Corporation, (KMC), the makers of the bus. He praised the company for establishing the car industry in Uganda. He said the industry is a major step for Uganda to climb into the middle-income bracket by 2020.

"This is the right direction for our country to attain the middle-income status. And with your 13-year master plan, you cannot fail in this mission," Gen Saleh said on May 15 at a meeting with staff of Kiira Motors Corporation.

Saleh urged government to support the car industry to tap into its many economic benefits and opportunities. Kiira Motors will start manufacturing vehicles in 2018.

Prof Sandy Stevens Tickodri-Togboa, the minister of state for Higher Education, Science and Technology, said government was weighing the possibility of establishing vehicle manufacturing capabilities in Uganda as a key industrialisation strategy.

"We have a vision of a sustainable and deep-rooted domestic automotive industry, positioned strategically into the global automotive industry value chain with emphasis on sub-Saharan Africa," Tickodri said.

The minister explained that Kiira Motors' target of manufacturing vehicles by 2018 is a viable project for Uganda because of the more than $493 million per annum costs, insurance and freight value of vehicle imports, and more than the $2 billion in the East African Community.

Paul Isaac Musasizi, the chief executive officer of Kiira, urged government to come up quickly with the National Automotive Industry Development policy and institutional structure to promote the manufacturing of vehicles in Uganda.

Musasizi said that Kiira will create 12,000 direct jobs at the capital expenditure phase and another 2,000 during the operation expenditure stage.

Kiira Motors, the maker of Africa's first zero-emissions electric traction bus - the Kayoola Solar - will take part at the Green Mobility Technology Exhibitor during the sixth edition of the Sustainable Innovation Expo running on the sidelines of the United Nations Environment Assembly in Nairobi.

Climate Action, the organizers of the expo, invited KMC.

The Climate Action's commercial director, Lindsay Baxter, in her invitation letter to KMC, stated: "Given Kiira Motors efforts in driving the development of Africa's first solar-powered bus, it is a pleasure to showcase your technology to highlight the high levels of sustainable innovation taking place in Uganda."

Source: The Observer