President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has commended the management of Uganda Industrial Research Institute – UIRI for the outstanding job they have done in transforming a dead institution into a Center of Excellence in Research and Development.
The President’s message was contained in his speech delivered by the Vice President of Uganda H.E. Jessica Alupo on Thursday afternoon during the 20th anniversary of Uganda Industrial Research Institute in Namanve.
The President commended UIRI in making significant contributions to the Country’s industrialization agenda especially in the area of technology development and industrial skills enhancement.
He revealed that, when he accented to the Bill of Parliament establishing Uganda Industrial Research Institute, the objectives of the Institute were: to undertake applied industrial research and to develop and acquire appropriate technology in order to create a strong, effective and competitive sustainable industrial sector for the rapid industrialization of Uganda.
“I had approached the Peoples’ Republic of China Government to assist in construction of a Research Centre. Phase one for this project was to focus on Food Science and Technology, while Phase two was to address metallurgy and establishing a technology development center where spare parts and machinery for industry would be made,” Museveni said.
He added that, the construction for the campus for Phase One didn’t start until 1997 and was commissioned in 2000.
“Unfortunately, management of the facility was severely lacking and the center stayed moribund until I requested Prof Charles Kwesiga, who was then a practicing Industrial Engineer in USA, to return to the homeland and manage the facility. He led the drive for the restructuring of the Uganda Industrial Research Institute restoring it to a productive learning and incubation hub in Uganda.”
“By 2008, when I visited the center at Nakawa, I was impressed by the progress that the Centre had made in a few years. At that time, UIRI was launching a vaccine manufacturing project with another eminent Ugandan Scientist, Dr.Vinand Nantulya. In this regard, I am also happy to note that UIRI is hosting another eminent Ugandan Scientist, Prof Fred Rurangirwa, who has set up a laboratory that provides a range of DNA-based analytical and diagnostic solutions,” He added.
He further added that with the excellent work at UIRI, In the year 2013, President Uhuru Kenyatta deliver a plaque to Kwesiga, recognizing UIRI as Center of Excellence in Research &, Development for EAC (East African Community).
“I am also aware of UIRI’s global peers having elected him as President of WAITRO (World Association of Industrial and Technological Research Organizations) for a two-year period (January 2015 to December 2016). This ascent to the helm of a prestigious fraternity of Research Institutes happened in Copenhagen, Denmark, putting our country on the map of global players in Research &, Development.”
In her part VP Alupo branded Prof Kwesiga as an icon of science in the country who does his work with sincerity, passion and fronts team work as a working style in public office.
“We had a tough time in establishing Kigumba, yet he accomplished so much because he was positive,” Alupo said.