Uganda’s President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni officially opened the Kawolo Concrete Sleeper Factory, the first concrete sleeper factory in Uganda constructed by Imathia Construcción, a Spanish Group, at the plant grounds in Kawolo, Buikwe District on Friday, September 1, 2023.
In his speech, the President reminded everyone of the NRM Point Five programme, advising Ugandans and Africans to build an integrated, independent, and self-sustaining economy.
President Museveni also stated that the government was in the final phases of building Uganda’s own steel sector, which will allow the country to begin manufacturing rails, which are also needed in the construction of railway lines.
“We also need the rails themselves for the Standard Gauge Railway. We may not do it immediately because the rails need very good steel, which we are developing in Kabale. We shall be able to produce the type of steel the railway system needs here in Uganda and other parts of East Africa,” he said.
The president thanked Imathia Construction, led by company chairman, Julian Garcia Velverde, for assisting Uganda in achieving part of its aim of developing an integrated, autonomous, and self-sustaining economy.
“I thank the Spanish Group, Imathia, for implementing part of this effort because Uganda needs the railway system, which needs several things like sleepers and rails,” Museveni said.
The factory, a joint venture between the Government of Uganda and the Spanish firm Imathia Construcción, will produce concrete sleepers in preparation for the rehabilitation of the Kampala Mukono railway line, with a capacity to produce 50,000 concrete sleepers per year.
The Minister of Works and Transport, Gen. Edward Katumba Wamala, thanked President Museveni for creating a conducive environment where investors thrive.
“It wouldn’t have been possible for Imathia Construction and those other investors to reach out to you to construct this factory in Uganda if this country was not a very good destination for foreign direct investment,” Gen. Katumba said.
The railway concrete sleeper factory has since completed manufacturing 30,000 out of the 49000 required to complete the railway line from Kampala to Mukono.
The launch of the Kawolo Concrete Sleeper Factory is a major boost for Uganda’s railway sector. It will help to improve the efficiency and reliability of the railway network, and it will also create jobs and boost the economy.