Engineer Paul Isaac Musasizi is tipped to appear in the top 50 people chosen from around the world for their unique and excellence in innovative ideas, by Bloomberg, the renowned business media.
But Musasizi, the Chief Executive Officer of Kiira Motor Corporation, says this achievement is for Uganda’s motor vehicle industry.
While naming him on the special list dubbed “Ones to Watch” in 2021, the Bloomberg team said, “His trail blazing innovation in manufacturing could see him feature in next year’s list of top 50 people rising in business, entertainment, finance, politics, and science and technology whose accomplishments merit recognition.
The recognition comes as the company prepares to roll out the production of electric buses in June 2021.
“The engineer is building Africa’s first electric bus factory and aims to have initial manufacturing capacity of 5,000 vehicles a year. Prototypes are already running as government shuttle buses,” Bloomberg said about Musasizi.
Musasizi is a mechanical engineer who has been involved in several innovative teaching programs at Makerere and Kyambogo universities between 2003 and 2016, systems analysis and designing for the National Identification and Registration Project in 2011, as well as developing the current National Resistance Movement Manifesto.
On his recognition by Bloomberg, Musasizi says it shows how importantly the world views the electric motor vehicle industry of Uganda, being the first one in Africa.
This also comes just after Uganda was recognised by the International Society of Automotive Engineers as a motor vehicle manufacturing country.
On whether the company is ready for commercial production in June 2021 as promised, Musasizi says that date will only be a launch, since they already have capacity to produce 16 electric buses per month, just waiting for orders.
With the buildings at the Jinja plant now at 60% completion, Kiira Motors will have the capacity to produce 5,000 units per year when they start full operations.
About 18% of the parts of the vehicles will be locally produced, and this will increase to 38% in five years, hoping that Ugandans will have taken advantage to benefit from the industry by manufacturing the parts.
They are also working with Chinese technicians in a deal that will enable transfer of technology to strengthen the Uganda’s industry and even for independent manufacturers of parts.
Most of the parts of the vehicles can be made from locally available raw materials including iron ore for steel, sand for glass, banana stems for interior fiber finishings, bamboo for boards, oil for plastics and rubber for tyres, as well as power for charging the batteries.
The Kayoola bus requires 5.4 tons of steel to build. Asked whether at one time Uganda will be able to produce all the parts of the vehicle, Musasizi says it might not make economic sense, and that the global vehicle industry operates on a global supply chain.
Musasizi says 85% of the jobs to be created will be in production and supply of vehicle parts. By 2030, when demand for buses in Africa will have risen to 10 million per year, Musasizi says Kiira should be able to supply at least half a million.
The buses are high-tech, with amenities including internet facilities, sanitary facilities as well as provisions for persons with disabilities among others. With a vehicle production policy soon to be passed, and the global recognitions already being achieved, Musasizi says the industry is ready for takeoff.
The 2020 top personalities on the list dubbed The Bloomberg 50 has people like Kristalina Georgieva, the IMF Managing Director; Reed Hastings, the Netflix CEO; and Marcus Rashford, the English footballer.
Bloomberg lists another 26 personalities, mainly political leaders like Joe Biden, Kim Jong Un, Angela Merkel as well as Pope Francis, who it termed “the usual suspects” or the not-so-surprising nominees for the 2021 Bloomberg50.
The Ones to Watch list, which features Engineer Paul Musasizi also has the likes Geoffrey Von Maltizahn the founder of Indigo Ag Inc; and Sojin Lee, the CEO Toshi Technologies London among others.
Source: the independent.
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