‘Africa launches first solar bus in Uganda’ ‘Uganda manufactures first solar bus in Africa’, ‘First solar bus set to boost innovation on the African continent’, ‘Government of Uganda invests 300 billion in Kayoola EV bus project’, ‘The Kayoola bus set to travel 8 hours non stop’.
These were headlines that were on CNN, BBC, All Africa News, Ugandan media, Kenyan media, I mean the launch of Kayoola was a dream come true for all those who had dreamt of Africa manufacturing its own products.
I remember calling several Ugandan friends to give me a skype interview on the details of the new bus, It was awesome, seeing University students this active and a supportive government investing billions in the project was phenomenal. I mean it was a dream come true, a dream of an Africa manufacturing cars this early, not just cars but solar cars; manufactured by university students? I proudly and happily reported on the story like I had just birthed my first born child. J it was really a great milestone in technology.
For the whole continent that watched the news then, when the CEO talked about having limited funds to move the project further, it shut down its ears. I mean we want to move forward as a continent, but how are we going to do it if we can’t help each other? imagine a house that has only one organized corner or bedroom, would you call it an organized house? I bet no! Don’t tell me about your new cars when your neighbors are starving. Anyway, let’s get back to technology.
Uganda’s Kayoola bus, ‘Africa’s was yet to be best innovation’ has now come to an end. A sad end. L For a project uplifting a continent, there was no funding to move the project further. but let’s face it, how much money gets lost on the continent without any trace, or how much money does the African development bank extend to countries to build infrastructure projects and it disappears with no trace.
Let’s stop this talk of youth innovation and creativity if we can’t support each other. How did this project fail to get an African investor, where is the love when needed the most, forget about the support and funding, where is the pan Africanism love?
I have attended several conference where Africa’s richest are talking about how they have invested in entrepreneurship and agriculture and blah blah blah blah, where results are barely seen, all the time you ask them the project’s numbers and the numbers to Africa’s poverty and unemployment are ridiculous.
For projects like this that had taken off, no one came up to take it on, to invest in it. Maybe, it was supposed to be the government’s role to support it, but for how long are we going to wait for our governments to invest in everything. Where is Africa’s private sector, you have the energy to invest outside the continent, but have no love for projects on the continent, why talk about the continent all the time when you have no love for the growth of its projects.
Writing this article with tears rolling down my cheeks; how could we fail to get an investor for this car, how could we fail to support our brothers, how could we fail to organize one more corner in the house, how could we fail to live by the bible verse of hoping one another and our neighbors.
This is not the story we want to tell our children, a story of a project hyped and talked about by the whole world which turned out to be a project failed and talked about by the whole world. what shall we tell them if fifty years from now, we will still be coming up with another solar bus, shall we tell them we tried, or that we failed to get funding, what will the world say, what will they write, that another solar bus has been manufactured, or that the same car has been remanufactured.