Exclusive: How Entertainment Industry has thrived under 34 years of NRM Government

AS National Resistance Movement (NRM) celebrates 34 years in power this weekend (26th January 2020 in Ibanda), we take a look at how Entertainment Industry has thrived under this regime which is under the leadership of President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.

In 1986, when NRA took over power there was entertainment but not at the level it is at today.

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has said have been able to perform and show off their talents because of prevailing peace and stability brought by his NRM government

With stability and peace created by NRM prevailing, the environment for improved entertainment industry was created and this didn’t take long for Ugandans to see change in the industry.

From singers to actors to entertainment venues, all these ones have developed tremendously under the NRM government with the prevailing freedom of speech and resources to use.

H.E M7 with singer Eddy Kenzo at State House Entebbe last year

While it was very difficult to host music concert those days because of security reasons, it is easy these days because the venues are very secure and very available.
The likes of lates; Elly Wamala, Philly Lutaaya, Paul Kafeero were very brilliant musician but the political atmosphere at the time they were shining wasn’t conducive to their work. The late Lutaaya had to shift to Sweden because of political instabilities in Uganda at that time.

H.E M7 attending concert marking 33 years of acting by Sam Bagenda aka Dr. Bbosa at Theatre La Bonita

While promoters in 80s and 90s used to bring musicians from outside Uganda especially Congolese, this has since ceased after the rising of Ugandan singers like Jose Chameleone, Bebe Cool, Bobi Wine, Juliana Kanyomozi, Iryn Namubiru, Afrigo band become more popular under NRM. These and more led the overthrow and influx of foreign musicians in Uganda. They have become household names not only in Uganda but also East Africa and beyond.

While meeting singer Eddy Kenzo real name Idrissa Musuza in October last year at State House Entebbe, President Yoweri Museveni congratulated Eddy Kenzo, one of Uganda’s high sounding and outgoing personality in the music industry, for making very good achievements in the music and entertainment sector.
“I want to congratulate Kenzo for making very good contribution in music. He was a street boy and an orphan but he had a talent of singing,” said President Museveni.
President Museveni used the occasion of his meeting with musician Eddy Kenzo to appeal to the youths in Uganda to emulate the example of Mr. Kenzo to get out of poverty by exploiting their talents fully.
“I appeal to the youths to use his example to get out of poverty by using their talents. If you are not singing, you can do it by farming, innovations and painting, among others, he said.

He noted that the musicians have prospered because of performing good entertainments in Uganda adding that this is possible because of the prevailing peace provided by the NRM government. He observed that Uganda is an easy destination for investment in comparison to other destinations mainly because of the prevailing peace.
Not only musicians have developed but also other entertainers like comedians, actors, fashionista.

There was barely any comedian in Uganda before but look at how comedy has sprung up and led its own revolution in entertainment.

With the environment favouring one to what they want, there was birthday of comedy in Uganda which has seen several young Ugandans earn big from the industry and are now international recognized. The Amarula Family was one of the groups that led to comedy revolution. The comedy has since given birth to stars like Amooti, Alex Muhangi, Patrick Idringi Salvado, Prince Emma, Mendo Herbert Ssegujja who himself has a household name imitating His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, Anne Kansiime who has gone to shine on the world stage as a comedienne, the Fun Factory group has a lot full of talent making it big on comedy.

The film industry has also been on the rise with many Ugandans joining and creating movies and films that have seen many theatres come up to show these films. Forget about Hollywood movies and Nigeria, Uganda we now also have Kina-Uganda and our theaters have been proudly showing such films. Look at The Ebonies and Bakayimbira Dramactors, Deception, Hostel and several others have come up to act Series that being show on our televisions and cinemas.

While attending a concert to mark 33 years of acting for Mr Sam Bagenda aka Dr. Bbosa in December last year at Theatre La Bonita, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni lauded the dramatists for taking advantage of the peace brought by his government to develop their talent.

“With peace ushered in by the NRM, people are bound to exhibit talents in all aspects; Preachers will preach, actors will act, artistes will compose and sing, farmers will flourish in fields, herders will tend, everyone will get chance to showcase their God-given talent,” M7 said.

You can’t talk about entertainment without mentioning Radios and Televisions, before NRM came to power there was only one Television and Radio (both UBC). At the moment they are close to 15 TV Stations and over 300 Radio stations. With these stations, entertainers have had the chances to showcase their talents and this has led the industry to develop at a faster rate.

During this regime, we have had many earn big being Master of ceremonies and Deejays at different entertainment centres and social events. This wasn’t the case before.

Fashion industry which is also under entertainment has come up and we have had a number of Ugandan become creative in field. We have seen people like Anita Beryl, Stellah Atal, Sylvia Owori, Fatumah Asha, Judith Heard, Ahumuza Brian aka Abryanz, Jenny Linda do wonders in style and fashion. They have created different labels which have won them accolades not only in Uganda but also abroad. Televisoion fashion shows have also been allowed to air and this improved on how stars can style themselves especially when hitting stages.

Music promoters like Balaam Barugahara and others have not struggled to get gigs because they have musicians to use.

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of recent while attending concerts of Bebe Cool, Catherine Kusasira and Sam Bagenda aka Dr. Bbosa pledged support to entertainers so as boost their careers.
The NRM has recently created a platform to help entertainers and these days, the president meets different groups of entertainers to see who to support them in their field. This surely shows that Entertainment industry is headed for even better working environment.
Congratulations to NRM upon this milestone


NRM invites opposition parties to Delegates conference

NRM Secretary General Rt. Hon. Justine Kasule Lumumba has disclosed inviting sister Political Parties to the 2nd meeting of the 3rd National Conference slated for January 25th at Namboole stadium.

Those invited include the Party Chairpersons/Presidents and their respective Secretary Generals of FDC, DP, JEEMA & UPC. All these are under IPOD. The Secretary General made the revelation last evening while appearing on CBS 89.2 FM on ‘Kkiriza oba gaana’ popular talk show moderated by Medi Nsereko Ssebuliba.

She said her decision to invite these sister Political Parties follows a cordial working relationship amongst them under IPOD. “Am optimistic that they will honour the invitation”, she added.

During the same show, SG Lumumba revealed that the Government Chief Whip had already submitted the list of the ‘rebel MPs’ to her office as directed by CEC a week ago. “I shall in turn submit these 30 MPs to the Disciplinary Committee headed by Al-Hajji Moses Kigongo for appropriate action”, she said.

SG Lumumba further mentioned that the ruling party had extended invitations to several political parties from countries within the Continent and beyond that include South Sudan, China, Mozambique, Equatorial Guinea, Kenya, Burundi, Tanzania and Namibia among others.

M7 invites Amama Mbabazi, Four others to attend NEC

The ruling National Resistance Movement (NRM) Secretary General Justine Kasule Lumumba has named five special guests who have been invited to attend the forth coming National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Entebbe.
NRM SG: Justine Kasule Lumumba
Article 12(2)P of the NRM Constitution gives the National Chairman the right to invite not more than 5 individuals who have made special contributions to the struggle to attend the NEC meeting.
The Rt. Hon. Secretary General Justine Kasule Lumumba confirms receipt of the names from H.E Yoweri Kaguta Museveni. She made the revelation Wednesday evening while appearing on UBC Television from 9-10pm.
Invited; Amama Mbabazi
The five include former Vice Presidents Dr. Specioza Wandira Kazibwe and Dr. Gilbert Bukenya, former Prime Ministers Rt. Hon. Kintu Musoke and Rt. Hon Amama Mbabazi together with former Kampala Central Legislator Hon Francis Babu.
SG Lumumba confirmed to the show moderator Innocent Musinguzi and the  viewers that invitations to the five above had already been sent. “We shall be grateful to receive them as our special guests during NEC meeting”, she added. NEC convenes this Friday in Entebbe.
Invited: Gilbert Bukenya
Meanwhile the accreditation of all NEC delegates has started this morning at Kololo Airstrip.

The above development was confirmed by Rogers Mulindwa,  the Senior manager Information, Communication & Public Relations at the NRM secretariat.

Uganda signs millions of pounds worth of commercial deals at UK-Africa Investment Summit

The UK-Africa Investment Summit held in London on 20th January laid the foundation for new partnerships between the UK and African nations based on trade, investment, shared values and mutual interest.

Billions of pounds of new commercial deals were announced, highlighting the strength of the UK’s offer and existing relationship with Africa.

Deals signed between UK companies and Uganda at the summit include a £185m export contract for Lagan Group to upgrade Kampala Industrial Business Park and a £80m deal for Nexus Green to export solar powered water pumping systems for irrigation in Uganda. Unatrac also won a £1.5m export contract to supply machinery for Ugandan roads.

The UK also announced new initiatives and funding, which will strengthen the joint trading relationship, and support African countries in their ambition to transform their economies. A major new partnership with the city of London was announced, along with a landmark new partnership with five African countries, including Uganda, to mobilise private sector investment in quality and, environmentally friendly infrastructure projects.

Taken together these projects and initiatives will help realise the UK’s ambition to be the investment partner of choice for Africa, will create hundreds of thousands of jobs and ensure mutual prosperity.

In total 27 deals worth over £6.5bn from across the African markets were signed at the Summit. The deals span a variety of sectors including infrastructure, energy, retail and technology, and will deliver high-quality investment, jobs and growth.

Secretary of State for International Trade, Liz Truss MP said:

Africa represents a huge opportunity for UK businesses, so it’s brilliant to see so many British firms paving the way in trading and investing in the region today to drive growth, create jobs and boost vital infrastructure.

“We want the UK to be the investment partner of choice for African nations, and our world-leading expertise in finance, tech, and innovation, makes the UK and Africa natural partners for prosperity.

“The deals announced today show the massive potential of UK-Africa trade and the programs we’ve announced will be critical to ensuring UK and African businesses are able to capitalise on trade and investment opportunities, now and in the future.”

The diverse and fast-growing economies of Africa offer huge potential to UK business. Over £36 billion worth of trade is already happening between the UK and Africa. The deals today show how we are building on that to secure a lasting commercial partnership of mutual benefit.

The UK’s world-leading expertise on finance, technology, innovation, and our commitment to clean growth make the UK and Africa natural partners for prosperity’.

Molly Kamukama wants Kazo District Woman MP seat

The newly appointed Minister for Economic Monitoring Hon. Molly Kamukama has announced her intentions to contest for Kazo District Woman Member of Parliament (MP) in 11th Parliament. The minister wants the seat come 2021.

The former Private Secretary to the President made the announcement on Sunday while meeting a few of her supporters.

On Monday Kamukama she took to her Twitter account to confirm her intentions for the above seat.

“Yesterday, I made public my wish to serve the people of Kazo District as their Woman a Representative in Parliament,” she said.

Kamukama said she will focus on growing household incomes and supervising implementation of government programs.

“Thank you Archbishop Bakyenga for blessing the journey I have embarked on,” she said.

Uganda deploys geospatial information system to expand electrification to rural communities

The Government of Uganda launched an electronic database and information management system which upgrades the data processing system, storage and analysis capacities for rural electrification in Uganda.

 The system is funded by a grant from the World Bank’s Carbon Initiative for Development (Ci-Dev) under the Energy for Rural Transformation Phase III (ERT-3) Project.

“The introduction of the electronic database and information system is a great step forward for our efforts to boost electricity access in Uganda’s rural areas,” saidGodfrey Turyahikayo, Executive Director at the Rural Electrification Agency. “Using this new technology will help to quantify and realize the additional income stream made possible by the results-based carbon finance that is part of this program”.

Electricity access in Uganda is now at 51 percent nationally while rural coverage is at 38.5% percent rural house hold access. The new system includes web and mobile data platforms, and a centralized database which will ensure optimal and reliable flow of information related to electrification process in Uganda. Designed with interactive map and graphical visualization tools, the web-based dashboard can show the current state of electrification in real time. The mobile application is designed for the collection of consumer and connection data in the field which can be synchronized with the data in the centralized servers. The centralized database is the hub of the spatial and non-spatial information of the system.

This technology also supports the validation of emissions reductions generated by connecting households to the grid and the replacement of mostly fossil-based lighting. The World Bank’s Carbon Initiative for Development will purchase emissions reductions generated from 2017 to 2024.

“The geospatial information system and database are a great contribution to Uganda’s power sector,” said Tony Thompson, World Bank Country Manager for Uganda. “This technology provides valuable inputs to the next phase of planning for Uganda’s national electrification strategy.”

Overall, building the system and strengthening the capacity of the Rural Electrification Agency is part of a comprehensive approach aligned with the Government’s vision to achieve universal electricity access by the year 2030.

Olivia Mugabe intensifies ground work

Bukoto West constituency, Lwengo district Member of Parliament (MP) contestant Olivia Mugabe has intensified her ground ahead of 2021 General elections.

This is aimed at winning her masses in Bukoto West after she announced her intentions to run for the area MP.

Over the weekend, Olivia was spotted doing serious ground works among her constituents.

She spent part of her Sunday at Busibo spreading the gospel about why she wants to contest.

Check out some of her photos as she toured the constituency looking for support.

Committee on Legal & Parliamentary Affairs praise URSB over stellar performance

The Committee on Legal and Parliamentary Affairs is mandated by Parliament to oversee the activities and programmes of the select Government Departments and Institutions including the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs under which the Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) falls.

Last Wednesday, the committee chaired by Hon. Jacob ObothOboth met the team from URSB led by the Deputy Registrar General –Finance & Administration, Alfred Mugisha

The Legislators were receiving URSB’s Budget Framework Paper for FY 2020/21 which was presented by the Deputy Registrar General -Registries, Mrs Jane Okot P’Bitek Langoya.

URSB is a key player in enhancing the competitiveness of the economy through registration services which include; Civil Registration, Protection of Intellectual Property Rights, Business Registration, Registration of Securities in Movable Properties and Insolvency Services.

“You are one of the shining stars in the list of government agencies. Your performance is outstanding and we would like to thank you for the good work. We are quite impressed with the reports from URSB said the Committee Chairperson, Hon.Jacob Oboth Oboth.

Other Committee Members re-echoed the Chairperson’s views, adding that URSB is on the right course and therefore deservedthe support of Parliament to move forward. The MPs also said they were impressed with the turn-around of services and continued growth of mandate.

The URSB team presented their report that highlighted key performance areas, challenges, as well as the institution’s priorities for the next Five years.

“We believe with your support as Parliament, together with the Ministry of Finance, Planning & Economic Development, we will be to have our funding gaps plugged, giving us even better platforms to grow our Non Tax Revenue collections in addition to increasing our service coverage across the country,” said Mrs. Langoya, adding that URSB would fully cooperate with Parliament and furnish it with all the information it required to support their plea for adequate funding.

Mr Chairman, we believe if we are granted more funding to cover our automation strategy, recruit additional staff since our staff structure is only 58% filled, we will be able to perform better than we already are. We ask that you look into this.”

Mrs. Langoya told the Committee that the Bureau needed 15.738 billion to enhance productivity and promote expansion to provide nationwide services. “For example, implementation of the URSB All-Digital-All-Online strategy to have all services e-based requires 3billion shillings” said Mrs Langoya.

The URSB team also presented the unfunded priorities which included operationalization of the approved Human Resource Structure to improve the staffing level that currently stands at only 58%, implementation of the URSB All-digital-All Online drive to have all services e-based, Establishment of additional One-Stop Shops across the country, Continuous staff capacity building to cope with progress in technology, Rolling out of electronic marriage registration systems to significantly improve formalization of marriages, and Establishment of the Geographical Indications Registry.

“Please point out the priority areas you believe are crucial for your performance and let us know. We will invite the Ministry of Finance together with URSB and agree on how we can get them funded,” said Hon. Oboth Oboth.

Deputy Registrar General, Alfred Mugisha pointed out that URSB had grown its budget from UGX 2.3 bn. in FY 2010/2011 to UGX 25bn in 2019/2020 and its Non Tax Revenue (NTR) hadgrown tremendously from UGX 5.8 Billion in 2010/2011 to UGX 56.3 billion in FY 2018/2019.

Hon. Abdu Katuntu told the Committee Members that Uganda had one of the best Companies Act globally and that he was happy URSB was doing a great job at formalizing the economy.

Shine the light where you should, Lambert tells Bobi Wine

The activist of Africa’s first economic war, Mr. Charles N. Lambert has advised People Power’s Robert Kyagulanyi aka Bobi Wine to shine the light where he should and avoid getting involved in activities beyond his level.

Charles Lambert has over time insisted and publicly endorsed President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni as God sent and Africa’s greatest leader who has made Uganda a shining black nation.

Below is Lambert’s full letter to Bobi Wine;

“My dearly beloved brother, Robert Kyagulanyi Ssentamu, my name is Charles N. Lambert and I am a Ugandan based social entrepreneur with proven commitment in Uganda towards job creation, poverty alleviation and increased standard of living for Ugandans and Africans in general. Just like you, I have been fought by all those same forces of darkness which you talk about.

A picture displaying Charles Lambert influence on Ugandan youth

I have suffered consequences of doing good, arrested and detained for no single reason till date, scandalized and brutalized for trying to love my fellow Africans in Uganda yet I know the problem is not with President Museveni, hence I shine the light where I should at corrupt, egocentric, arrogant and high minded heads of agencies and ministries.

I am an admirer of your story, your rise from obscurity, your devotion to your talent and your ambitions and belief in your abilities.

I also share your positions on various societal ills especially youth idleness and gross unemployment. Right in your proud Ghetto-Kamwokya, I single handedly led a movement that built the largest call center in Africa at your back yard creating 5,000 jobs and this wonderful call center was collapsed through constant orchestrated attacks from various government agencies but you never said a word and 5,000 jobs were lost in your backyard Bobi.

I became intricately connected to you from the very minute I invested over 3 billion shillings and countless personal energy and time in your beloved ghetto creating 5,000 first class call center jobs for your people, your community and your kindred.

I am however writing you this open letter as an opportunity to educate all your followers in areas where you might be emotionally misleading people. Bobi, a lot of those words you speak about freedom is such a far cry from the reality on ground in Uganda. Uganda is by far the freest society in all of Africa. There is no place anywhere in the developing world that has the combination of Freedom and Security such as Uganda. It sounds to me that maybe you were born in a wrong era, maybe you should have been born in times of colonial oppression. You crave to fight this oppressor but there is actually none. No one is oppressing Ugandans AT ALL. In fact, if there is anything such as too much freedom, this country is the picture of that. Brother, please shine the light where you should.
You also talk so much about unemployment to the point I begin to wonder if you truly understand how job creation works. The private sector is the number one catalyst for job creation Not the government my dear brother. Lack of jobs simply means lack of production activities by people living in Uganda yet they have power, water, security, road and peace to do anything they want and create jobs. How do we talk about job creation and point all the blames on the wrong person. I am sure you wouldn’t even want to be held responsible for the action of your child in school let alone the inaction of over 40 million people. Brother, please shine the light where you should.

You are a member of parliament; your colleagues are the administrators and custodians of most apparatus of government. Your colleagues are the embezzlers, the corrupt, the looters, the oppressors of the masses YET you have never called them out. You have never set your pressure group to check mate the activities of these your colleagues you see every day but instead you choose to insult, degrade, abuse, and stain the priceless legacy of my hero, my idol, my inspiration, and my father.

One of the two buildings that housed the 5,000 capacity call center

Well, while it is obvious to me that you have only decided to take this direction as a way to score political points and buy sympathy, it is something I am NOT willing to tolerate and I am asking you as a brother to kindly tone down the Rhetoric or you will realize that those who are for Museveni, are more lethal than anything you or those encouraging you can muster. The foundation for you to become anything you may wish is respect and without respect, you don’t deserve to ever be the leader of the thousands of youth I myself lead in Uganda and I will surely be sending them to teach your people the value called Respect.

Please brother, shine the light where you should.

Africa and the entire black race Needs Uganda as created by Museveni (Not the one of 1962 created by the British).

Your brother in every ramification of the word.

Charles N. Lambert

Leader, Africa’s First Economic War.

Chairman, DC

Elioda Tumwesigye delivers excellent speech as Industrial Skills Training and Production Centre opens in Namanve

Uganda Industrial Research Institute’s Industrial Skills Training and Production Centre at Kampala Industrial Business Park (KIBP), Namanve has been opened in Namanve Industrial Park.

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has praised the government of China for their support in setting up the centre.

“I thank the government of the People’s Republic of China and the Ugandan team led by Prof. Charles Kwesiga. The Uganda Industrial Research Institute has an equipped and ready operationalization home in Namanve Industrial Area. With this new home, the dream towards industrialization, import substitution, export promotion, technical Skilling of our youth to fill gaps in the job market, comes even closer,” M7 said.

The Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation (MoSTI) Hon. Elioda Tumwesigye thanked the President for intervening to get funding for the skills Centre. Below is the Minister’s full speech at the commissioning ceremony.

Your Excellency, The President of the Republic of Uganda, it is an honour for me to receive you and thank you for gracing this landmark occasion as we commission Uganda Industrial Research Institute’s Industrial Skills Training and Production Centre at Kampala Industrial Business Park (KIBP), Namanve.

This facility is the first of its kind in Eastern Africa and I take this opportunity on behalf of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation to thank you for your effort and personal intervention towards securing the funding required to establish this Centre.
Your Excellency, when the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation was created in 2016, it inherited Uganda Industrial Research Institute (UIRI) as an affiliated institution. UIRI was previously domiciled under the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives (MTIC). The rationale behind the transfer of UIRI from the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives (MTIC) to my Ministry was better alignment with NDP-STI sector objectives which include:
(i) Enhancing the integration of Science, Technology and Innovation into the national development process;
(ii) Increasing transfer and adaptation of technologies; and
(iii) Enhancing Research and Development in Uganda.

Your Excellency after creating this Ministry in 2016 and appointing me its first Cabinet Minister, you guided me on priorities my Ministry should focus on in your letter of 24th March 2017 thus:
1. Concentrate on supporting innovations that had been started and enable them get off the ground including the banana project, Kiira Motors etc.
2. Focus on and help through Innovation Fund replications/technology transfers that Your Excellency see whenever you go for national functions of Ugandans struggling to produce a few items like shoes, wines, knitted sweaters etc. You said that this copying of knowledge should be operationalized, as these are things that can change our economy from being agricultural to industrial based.
3. Look into establishing a Space Agency and Institutes in Mineral Research, Indigenous Knowledge and Climate Science.
Your Excellency also in that letter, you directed me to strengthen Uganda Industrial Research Institute (UIRI) to fulfill its mandate. “Priority should be given to support UIRI to acquire machines that can enable Scientists build other machines. This will enhance operationalization of many of the innovations that are lying dormant. If this is done, they could make maize mills, food mixers and motor vehicle spares. The country spends about USD 23 million on importation of motor vehicle spares and USD 18 million on importation of spares for motor cycles”.
Today’s Commissioning of this facility is a clear testimony that my Ministry has delivered on this, Your Excellency’s directive. I wish to assure you the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation is committed to supporting UIRI scale-up its industrial development initiatives and projects through an enabling policy environment and supportive supervison. I fully appreciate the urgent need to develop a wide range of modern industrial skills that can foster accelerated and sustainable industrialization, in keeping with the aspirations of our third National Development Plan (NDP III) which aims to “increase household incomes and improve quality of life” through “sustainable industrialization for inclusive growth, employment and wealth creation”. This project is also crucial from the perspective of contributing to our country’s capacity to tap into the many opportunities the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) has to offer.
Your Excellency, as you are aware my Ministry and the wider Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Sector have an essential role to play towards the achievement of many of the aspirations articulated in Uganda Vision 2040. I expect the products and services provided to Ugandans by this Centre to be components of the main engines for accelerated industrial development and the associated socioeconomic transformation. The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation will therefore, continue to work hard towards supporting UIRI fully operationalize this Centre.
We shall strengthen intra-sectoral inter-agency collaboration and holizontal linkages between UIRI, Kiira Motors, Uganda National Council for Science & Technology (UNCST) and the Banana Industrial Research & Development Center (BIRDC) as well as with various innovators to ensure that we fully unlock and exploit the full potential and utility of this facility. We shall seek collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Sports to enhance academia-industry cooperation and facilitate translation of research and development outputs at Universities and other tertiary Institutions into commercialized outcomes using this facility as appropriate. We shall work with the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Cooperatives as well as the Private Sector to let manufacturers and other players know of and utilize the capabilities of this facility. We shall also further strengthen our collaboration with the Ministry of Defence to build a synergistic relationship between this facility and those under that ministry especially under NEC.

Sir, you may recall the genesis of this project dates back to 2012 and at that time, the vision was to establish a number of Centres that integrate industrial skills development with production in various parts of the country. It was your prudent advice then that this novel approach should be tried out through the establishment of this maiden Centre. I remain hopeful of seeing UIRI establish regional Centres in the future based on the same model as originally envisaged.
Your Excellency, in order to ensure that this Centre and other efforts within the STI sector are sustainable to a degree that measurably impacts our society, my ministry is in advanced stages of developing an all-inclusive National Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (NSTIP). A complementary STI Sector Development Plan (SDP) has been developed and as with the draft policy, the role of UIRI in the development of the STI sector is well articulated. This includes the need for hands-on and requisite specialized “4th Industrial Revolution” skills especially for our many young people that this Centre will address.
As we commission this facility, allow me to express my Ministry’s sincere appreciation to the Government and Citizens of the People”s Republic of China for the generous donation of this Centre to the people of Uganda and more so for the high quality work put into its construction as well as State – of the –Art machinery that has been installed. I also thank them for other significant support given to my Ministry on other projects. I look forward to this collaboration continuing to grow from strength to strength for mutual benefit of our people.
In a special way I commend Prof. Charles Kwesiga, Executive Director, UIRI and his technical team led by Dr. Dick Kamugasha, Deputy Executive Director, UIRI for diligently attending to the foundational and project implementation technical work required to deliver such a high quality project in record time.
Your Excellency Sir, I recall the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister breaking ground here on your behalf to start construction works on 25th January 2018. This translates to completion of this project in less than 2 years. In this regard I thank Jiangsu Jiangdu Construction Group (the General Contractor appointed by the Chinese Government to construct and equip this Centre) and Hunan Architectural Design Institute Limited Company (the firm appointed by the Chinese Government to supervise works) for a job well done.
Your Excellency, I note that this Centre represents a new frontier that has been opened in the area of technological capability and innovation. The facilities installed here are laying the foundations for indigenous technology development, reverse engineering (copy and apply) and ultimately advanced machine building, all of which are essential prerequisites for 21st Century industrialization and for socio-economic transformation of Africa.
Allow me Your Excellency to use this opportunity to let you know that a few weeks ago on 13th Dec 2019 at the African Union (AU) Headquarters in Addis Ababa, I was elected to chair the Ministers of Education and Science & Technology in the 55 Member States of the African Union as a strong recognition by my peers hardly 3 years since your creation of the Ministry of Science Technology and Innovation in Uganda. I also thank you so much for your unparalleled and visionary leadership that has not only ensured peace and stability in a geo-politically volatile region of our planet but also made Uganda the fulcrum for Pan Africanism. It’s because of such achievements that enable humble and simple people like me to be elected to high level Continental or Global positions. We hope to use such positions and with your support Your Excellency to ensure that we create condusive conditions to nurture talent, support creativity and innovation of our young people, create jobs and generate wealth on our continent to prevent Africans from dying in the Sahara Desert or being buried in the Mediterranean Sea grave yard or becoming victims of modern-day slavery on foreign lands.
In the First Speech at the foundation summit of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) in Addis Ababa, 24th May 1963, President Kwame Nkrumah of Ghana said: “We shall accumulate machinery and establish steel works, iron foundries and factories; we shall link the various states of our continent with communications; we shall astound the world with our hydroelectric power; we shall drain marshes and swamps; clear infested areas; feed the undernourished, and rid our people of parasites and disease. It is within the possibility of science and technology to make even the Sahara bloom into a vast field with verdant vegetation for agricultural and industrial developments”. Today’s function of accumulating modern machinery here is part of Kwame Nkrumah’s Vision.
Finally, the success registered here notwithstanding there remains two major challenges to full operationalization of this Centre. The first is the need to secure funding for the recruitment of requisite staff, training operations, procurement of production and training inputs, utilities, maintenance, services, additional machinery and equipment etc. The second is the need to fund the establishment of state-of-the-art foundry to complement machining and fabrication processes, leading to comprehensive technology development and machine building capabilities.
I thank Hon Matiya Kasaija, Minister of Finance, Planning and Economic Development for his relentless support to this project since its inception including writing a letter on March 31st, 2015 to H.E Mr. Gao Hucheng, Minister of Commerce People’s Republic of China which played a pivotal and catalytic role in kick-starting this project. Special thanks go to Hon Evelyne Anite, the Minister of State responsible for Investments for not only being present at both the 25th Jan 2018 ground breaking and today’s Commissioning ceremonies but also for pro-active support in the entire journey of this project including even in the arrangements for this function. I have confidence therefore that the Ministry of Finance will positively consider providing the required funding to not only overcome the two challenges mentioned above but also to support the expansion and growth of this and allied initiatives so that we are able to deliver quality products and services for the benefit of the people of Uganda. FOR GOD AND MY COUNTRY..