Kiira Motors, a brainchild of Makerere University, is supported through the Presidential Initiative for Science and Technology Innovation to champion Value Addition in the Domestic Automotive Industry for job creation and diversification of the economy. Government of Uganda, acting through Uganda Investment Authority, allocated 100 acres of land at the Jinja Industrial and Business Park for the establishment of the Kiira Vehicle Plant. The Kiira Vehicle Plant shall operate in partnership with seasoned global auto manufacturers, going to market as a bus builder and progressively expand the product portfolio to include; Pick-Ups, Light and Medium Duty Trucks and Passenger Vehicles.
The Kiira Motors initiative dates back to 2007 when a team of students and staff at Makerere University were invited to be part of an international consortium, the Vehicle Design Summit 2.0 (VDS 2.0). Inspired by the key challenges perceived as opportunities in the 21st Century, a group of motivated researchers at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) founded VDS with the ultimate aim of developing environmentally friendly commuter transport solutions. The goal of the VDS 2.0 global consortium was to design, build and bring to market, the Vision 200; a hyper efficient five passenger vehicle, earmarked as a production vehicle for the developing countries starting with India. Makerere University, the only participant from Africa was responsible for the design and integration of the Low Power Electronics and Data Networking Systems. The Vision 200 was completed and displayed at the Dream Exposition, at the Museo Nazionale dell’Automobile, Turin, from 22nd September until 24th November, 2008.
The exposure gained from the participation in the VDS 2.0 and the prospect of changing the status quo of the Ugandan automotive industry energized the creation of the Centre for Research in Transportation Technologies (CRTT) at Makerere University in 2009. The main aim of the CRTT was to champion research and development of eco–friendly transport solutions for Africa. The Kiira Electric Vehicle Project was also commissioned to build Uganda’s first car the, Kiira EV, completed and launched in November 2011 by H.E. the President of the Republic of Uganda, Gen. Yoweri K. Museveni. Kiira EV was completed with support from the government of Uganda for Innovation Projects at Makerere University.
KMC has evolved from an extra-curricular activity at Makerere University, to a curricular university activity and later a main stream research and Innovation program. Powered by the visionary leadership of various stakeholders and a team full of dreamers and extraordinary talented young men and women, Kiira Motors has now transitioned into a government program for industrialization. Kiira Motors Corporation (KMC) was incorporated in 2014 as a company owned by Government of Uganda and Makerere University. The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation has been given the mandate to provide policy guidance and oversight for the implementation of the Commercialisation of the Kiira Electric Vehicle Project.
The Kiira Vehicle Technology Innovation Program has designed and built three concept vehicles, the “Kiira EV”, Africa’s first electric vehicle, the “Kiira EV SMACK”, Africa’s first hybrid electric vehicle and the Kayoola Solar Bus, Africa’s first solar electric bus. Kiira Motors Corporation is the proud recipient of the 2016 Frost and Sullivan Visionary Innovation Leadership award in Sustainable Mobility.
The three strategic pillars that drive business value and success for the Kiira Vehicle Plant are: 1) Value for the Customer, envisaged to be realized through assembly of vehicles with proven technology competitively priced to enable the progressive customer shift from imported used vehicles to brand new vehicles assembled locally; 2) Opportunity for the Community, realized through a diverse spectrum of sustainable jobs created directly within the Kiira Vehicle Plant and diversification of the economy through industrialization resultant from investments in domestic parts manufacturing and the service industry relevant for supporting the Kiira Vehicle Plant; 3) Profit for the Shareholders, the Kiira Vehicle Plant investment is crafted based on a positive business case to ensure that ultimately the Shareholders realize an early return on investment.
To be the Best in – Class Passenger Vehicle Manufacturer in East and Central Africa by 2025
To Build a Better Uganda through Automotive Technology