President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has inaugurated Uganda's inaugural railway concrete sleeper factory, situated in Kawolo, Lugazi, Buikwe. This achievement marks a significant milestone in the nation's quest for economic integration, independence, and self-sufficiency, a vision that President Museveni has long advocated for.
The President commended Imathia Construction, led by its Chairman, Mr. Julian Garcia Velverde, for their pivotal role in realizing this vision. He emphasized the importance of building an economy that is self-reliant, emphasizing that this endeavor was crucial to addressing the ongoing challenges faced by many African nations.
President Museveni highlighted the significance of the railway system for Uganda's development and noted the importance of manufacturing key components locally. He expressed gratitude to Imathia for their contribution and revealed that the government was in the final stages of establishing Uganda's steel industry. This initiative would enable the domestic production of rails, a critical component in railway construction.
Furthermore, the President underlined the need for rails, particularly for the Standard Gauge Railway, and shared plans for developing the country's steel industry in Kabale. This endeavor aimed to provide the required high-quality steel not only for Uganda but also for other East African regions.
Mr. Julian Garcia Velverde, Chairman of Imathia Construction, extended his appreciation to President Museveni, the Ministry of Works and Transport, and the Board and Management of Uganda Railways Corporation for their support and hospitality. He highlighted that the railway concrete sleeper factory employed a predominantly local workforce and expressed confidence that it would eventually become entirely Ugandan-operated.
Mr. Garcia also advocated for the use of concrete sleepers in Uganda's railway infrastructure, citing their advantages in safety, comfort, speed, and reduced maintenance costs compared to steel sleepers. He mentioned that Imathia was already engaged in renovating the Kampala-Mukono railway line and assured the President of their commitment to completing the project on schedule.
Moreover, Mr. Garcia emphasized the factory's capability to supply sleepers for all railway rehabilitation projects across the country. The factory, staffed by over 90 percent Ugandans, boasts a daily production capacity of 208-meter gauge concrete sleepers for the refurbishment of the Kampala-Namanve-Mukono railway line.