The Minister of State for Transport, Hon. Fred Byamukama has advised Uganda Railway Corporation to ensure proper management and accountability of all resources at their disposal, if the railway sub-sector is to grow and make meaningful contribution to the development of Uganda.
Mr. Benon Kajuna, Director of Transport in the Ministry of Works and Transport made the call on behalf of the Minister at the Commissioning of the Railway Capacity Building Center yesterday, 26 May 2022 in Nalukolongo.
“As part of the efforts to transform Uganda Railways Corporation into a profitable and self-sustaining entity following the failed concession in 2018, and in line with Vision 2040 government undertook to provide resources for a number of projects, one of them being capacity building for the Railway workforce”, Mr. Kajuna said.
“Capacity building is the quickest way of creating a knowledgeable workforce that is needed to drive Uganda Railways to greater heights”, he added.
He also added that the massive investment by government in rail and water transport is aimed at removing the heavy cargo from the roads onto rail, thus saving money that would have been spent on maintain damaged roads due to the heavy trucks that ply them, and reducing the cost of transportation of both imports and exports.
The capacity-building programme funded by the Spanish government will cost 4.8 million Euros and will be implemented for 3 years through Consultrans, a Spanish company with a reputation of mordernising railway infrastructure. Consultrans also undertook to rehabilitate the railway line to Mukono.
Mr. Julian Valerde, the President of Consultrans commended Government of Uganda for the move to transform railway transport in Uganda.
He noted that this commitment is a step in the right direction to transform lives of Ugandans in line with the priorities of Government.
CPA Stanley Sendegeya, the Managing Director of Uganda Railways Corporation called upon the workforce to embrace the programme.
“The programme is here to grow your knowledge base. It is this knowledge that will help you to appreciate your contribution to the strategic plan of the corporation”, CPA Sendageya said.
He also called upon the workforce to embrace change and be committed stakeholders.
“We may have some challenges now, many of which are not our creation, but with your undivided commitment to your job, and the desire to make Uganda Railways efficient and effective, the railway sub-sector in Uganda will thrive”, he added.
Apart from the capacity-building project, a number of projects are underway. Uganda Railways Corporation with funding from Government and development partners is rehabilitating the Kampala – Malaba rail line to facilitate a seamless movement of goods from Malaba to Kampala and vice versa, rehabilitation of the Gulu to Pakwach and Kampala to Kasese lines among others.
Plans are also underway to expand passenger transport from Kampala to Jinja and Kyengera. CPA Sendegeya notes that this initiative will reduce congestion on the roads while saving time and money for passengers on those routes. This project will be realized in the next three years.
These improvements will make the railway Uganda’s biggest provider of cargo and passengers transport services with an estimate of 6 million passengers annually travelling on rail and 180,000 tons of cargo a month.