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Uganda commissions $30 million Industrial Skills Center that will teach students how to manufacture machines and accessories to help in the industrialization of the country

Background

The government of Uganda in collaboration with China has commissioned a $30 million Machine manufacturing skills center that will combine industrial training and apprenticeship. The industrial skills center was fully funded by China as a grant and is based at Namanve in Mukono District.

The benefits of the skills center

No country can develop without going through industrialization. With the inauguration of this center, Uganda is now on the path to achieving her industrialization ambitions.

Firstly, this center will provide the right environment for manufacturing the machines and equipment needed to bring the country into the industrial age. Uganda has various resources be it agriculture, oil, mining and others. The establishment of this center means that the country can develop home-made machines that will transform these resources into finished products.

Secondly, universities in the country such as Makerere University are conducting various researches for the benefits of the country and the region at large. But they face major handicaps in translating this research into innovative products and services that will impact society. Now this research institute will provide the link between academic research and industries.

Finally, if properly planned the private sector has a lot to gain from this initiative. For example, they could now confidently sponsor innovative research projects in Ugandan higher institutes knowing that the results of such research could be translated into real-life products and services that will positively impact their companies.

Industrial dreams of President Museveni

Uganda’s president Museveni frequently laments about how Africa missed out on the industrial revolution and that he will do his utmost to make sure that Uganda industrializes. With this objective, Uganda has formed a burgeoning partnership with China thas has continued to flourish and is leading the country towards its dreams of being a middle-income country. Uganda’s collaboration with China has yielded various massive projects such as in electricity generation, modern railways, airports, the Entebbe Expressway, the underground ICT backbone, construction of industrial parks, among many others.

China-Africa relations is resulting in the industrialization of the continent

Uganda in collaboration with china has built many industrial parks in addition to the unveiling of the country’s first smart phone and laptop manufacturing plant late last year. Moreover, with the addition of this machine manufacturing skills center, it is on the path towards realizing her industrialization ambitions.

Nigeria is also constructing a plant that will manufacture train tracks and coaches at home by collaborating with China. Moreover, it is also constructing Africa’s first transport university in collaboration with the Asian giant.

Ethiopia is also among the leading collaborators with china on the continent. It has built and commissioned several industrial parks and many are on the pipeline. Ethiopia had the fasting growing economy in the world in the past decade and its collaboration with china definitely played a role in achieving this feat. The East African nation is now on the verge of becoming the manufacturing hub of the continent.

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Rwandan company has set up a gold refinery plant in Kigali to refine all their gold instead of exporting it as raw

The $5m gold refinery is located at the Kigali special economic zone and started operations in March 2019. The refinery is an initiative of Aldango, a local company that deals in minerals. The refinery has the capacity to process 6 tonnes of gold a month equivalent to 220Kg per day and will be expanded as demand increases.

According to the chairman of the company, the factory is built with the same standard as those found in Europe and Asia.  The company will buy raw gold from the country and around the continent and process it into high quality finished gold. The company already has access to the international market. The country hopes that the refinery will complement its efforts in achieving a revenue target of $1.5 billion from mineral exports by 2024.

Adding value to resources in Rwanda

Even though most African countries have abundant mineral resources, they are exported raw outside the continent. As a result, the African countries experience loss in potential revenues as well as jobs. Aldango is a Rwandan based company that specialises in the metal industry.

The company realised that even though Rwanda had deposits of precious metal resources, it had no refining capabilities. Hence, it grabbed this opportunity to set-up this refinery that will now process all the gold mined in the country as well as from the surrounding countries. The company will also expand its capacity as demand increases.

Benefits of the gold refinery to Rwanda

Instead of Rwanda exporting raw metals and earning less revenues, they will now export them in processed form consequently earning much higher revenues. The plant will also provide both direct and indirect employment to the Rwandan population. Similarly, the government will also earn more tax revenues from both the company and its employees. moreover, the company has intentions to expand to processing other precious metals and further contributing towards the socio-economic development of Rwanda.

What Africa governments need to do to follow in Rwanda’s footsteps?

Firstly, the Rwandan government realized that it is the private sector that will lead the economic growth of the country. As a result, through the visionary leadership of President Kagame, he created the enabling environment that will make businesses thrive in the country. For instance, Rwanda is now ranked among the top countries in the world in ease of doing business.

Secondly, transparency in the government as demonstrated by the e-procurement portal of the country which gives suppliers and buyers confidence and transparency in procuring goods and services.

Finally, President Kagame through his political-will made sure that all the policies with regards to ease of doing business and transparency in government transactions, are followed through and executed.

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