The Centre of Excellence for Information and Communication Technology in East Africa (CENIT@EA) and Kiira Motors Corporation (KMC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to advance Digital Mobility Solutions Research and Innovation in the East African Community (EAC) in line with global automotive technology foresight for enhancing mobility safety, security, operational and energy efficiency.
The Centre of Excellence for ICT in East Africa (CENIT@EA) is a Regional Digital Innovation Centre hosted by the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology (NM-AIST) in Arusha, Tanzania. It is implemented based on the cooperation between the East African Community (EAC) and the German Government by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) together with its implementation partners the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and the Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA). CENIT@EA is moreover supported by an academic consortium of German and East African academic institutions, namely NM-AIST, the Universities of Oldenburg and Dar es Salaam, the Universities of Applied Sciences Mannheim and HTW in Berlin, the University of Technology and Arts in Byumba and the German Aerospace Center.
Kiira Motors Corporation (KMC) is a state enterprise established to champion value addition in the nascent domestic automotive industry for job creation and diversification of the economy as Uganda aspires for economic transformation to an upper-middle income economy by 2040 with Industrialisation as the foundation of this vision. The medium term goal is the construction and operationalization of the Kiira Vehicle Plant by July 2022 through Technology Transfer Partnerships with seasoned Automotive Industry Actors and progressive enhancement of automotive local content participation, import substitution and supply chain localization. The KMC equity partners are the Government of the Republic of Uganda represented by the Ministry of Science Technology and Innovation (96%) and Makerere University (4%)
The mutually defined areas of collaboration include: Advanced Driver Assistance Systems; Smart Mass Mobility Solutions; Traffic Assessment, Forecasting and Management Systems; Fleet Management Systems; Autonomous & Connected Vehicles; and Smart Charging Infrastructure Management Solutions.
This collaboration between KMC and CENIT@EA will encompass Applied Research; Internship Placements; Guest Lecturing; Pilot Projects; Joint Staff Capacity Building; Outreach; Exchange of Personnel; Seminars, Conferences and Joint Short Courses; Entrepreneurship Activities such as Hackathons or IT Boot camps; common use of research devices, facilities and equipment and other activities as may be mutually agreed by the parties.
This initiative shows the importance and opportunities of collaboration between academia and industry for the promotion of innovative solutions that contribute to the digital transformation of the economies in the EAC.