Uganda Government Commissions Railway Training Center
The Minister of State for Transport, the Hon. Fred Byamukama advised Uganda Railway Corporation ensure proper stewardship and accountability of all resources at their disposal, if the railway sub-sector is to grow and make a significant contribution to Uganda’s development.
Mr. Benon Kajuna, Director of Transport at the Ministry of Works and Transport made the appeal on behalf of the Minister during the commissioning of the Railway Capacity Building Center yesterday, May 26, 2022 in Nalukolongo.
“As part of efforts to transform the Uganda Railways Corporation into a profitable and self-sustaining entity following the failure of the concession in 2018, and in line with Vision 2040, the government has committed 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 fastest way to create the skilled workforce that is needed to lead Uganda Railways to greater heights,” he added.
He also added that the government’s massive investment in rail and river transport is aimed at shifting heavy cargo from roads to rail, thus saving money that would have been spent on maintaining roads damaged by heavy trucks using them. , and reduce the transportation cost of imports and exports.
The capacity building program funded by the Spanish government will cost 4.8 million euros and will be implemented for 3 years by Consultrans, a Spanish company renowned for the modernization of railway infrastructure. Consultrans has also undertaken to rehabilitate the railway line to Mukono.
Mr. Julian Valerde, President of Consultrans, commended the Ugandan government for the decision to transform rail transport in Uganda.
He noted that this commitment is a step in the right direction to transform the lives of Ugandans in line with government priorities.
CPA Stanley Sendegeya, Managing Director of the Uganda Railways Corporation, called on the workforce to embrace the scheme.
“The program is there to develop your knowledge base. It is this knowledge that will help you appreciate your contribution to the company’s strategic plan,” said CPA Sendageya.
He also called on the workforce to embrace change and be engaged stakeholders.
“We may have challenges now, many of which are not of our making, but with your undivided commitment to your work and the desire to make Uganda Railways efficient and effective, the railway sub-sector in Uganda will thrive” , he added.
In addition to the capacity building project, a number of projects are ongoing. The Uganda Railways Corporation, with funding from government and development partners, is rehabilitating the Kampala – Malaba railway line to facilitate a continuous 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 routes while saving time and money for passengers on these routes. This project will be carried out over the next three years.
These improvements will make the railway Uganda’s largest provider of freight and passenger services with an estimated 6 million passengers traveling annually on rail and 180,000 tonnes of freight per month.