At least 300 cars are expected to hit the road and more than 10,000 jobs will be created when Uganda starts to manufacture own cars in 2018.
Presenting their 25-year strategy at a business case seminar in Kampala on Monday, officials from Kiira Motors Corporation (KMC) said the five-phase project will see production gradually grow to over 60,000 vehicles per year by 2040.
“In the first phase, we are going to train a team of 200 workers who will include technicians, accountants, lawyers, salespeople and entrepreneurs; this will take us six years, so by 2040 the vehicles will be 90 per cent manufactured by local workers and using local material,” said Isaac Musasizi, the chief executive officer at KMC.
Musasizi promised that, with funding, KMC was in position to produce affordable and high-quality vehicles, something that will reduce the rampant importation of used cars.
The company is expected to produce pickup trucks, compact SUVs (cross-overs), saloons, light and medium-duty commercial vehicles (buses and trucks). Ugandan prime minister Ruhakana Rugunda, who launched the strategy, promised that the government would be the first to buy these cars.
“The government will be your first customers, as you know, Uganda is investing heavily in this project; so, we are waiting for the vehicles and I hope you will be able to manufacture vehicles that meet international standards,” Rugunda said.
The project is funded by the government through the Presidential Initiative for Science and Technology Innovation Programme and equity partners are Makerere University and Uganda Development Corporation (UDC).
They will be boosted by a team of consultants and advisers including RLE International and National Instruments from the United States, Arup Group from the United Kingdom, Automotive Investment Holdings from South Africa and Valmet from Finland.
Musasizi said the project is expected to cost Shs 121bn, and become profitable by 2023, posting Shs 6.7bn in profit. Initial funding would be sourced by a combination of equity, debt and grant funding.
The KMC complex will be constructed on a 100-acre piece of land at the Uganda Investment Authority’s business park in Kakira town council in Jinja.
According to Musasizi, the Saloon cars will cost $25,000 (Shs 82m), Crossover $28,000 (Shs 92m) and Pickups $32,000 (Shs 100m). The Kiira car project started in 2007 by students at the College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology of Makerere University.