Construction work on Uganda’s Mechanical Engineering Training and Advisory Center (METRAC) was recently inaugurated by the government, to raise the standards of training for machine operators.
The country’s first facility of its kind, the Sh8.8 billion METRAC, according to Works and Transport Minister Gen Katumba Wamala, is in accordance with the strategic objectives set forth in the National Development Plan III. It also seeks to create an integrated transport infrastructure and services.
Uganda’s Mechanical Engineering Training and Advisory Center will be constructed on a 10-acre piece of land acquired in Kakinzi Village, Luweero District. Gen Katumba stated that the government realized that unfit operators were the primary hurdle to the proper use and care of road equipment. He also claimed that no deliberate attempt had been made to train the workforce. The incompetent operators have caused them to lose equipment.
Under a public-private development partnership involving the governments of Uganda and Japan and Komatsu Limited as the technical partner from the private sector, the project is being pushed by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).
The main objective of Uganda’s Mechanical Engineering Training and Advisory Center
According to Gen. Katumba, the development aims at increasing the number of skilled machine operators for the public and private sectors. The project is anticipated to be completed by December 2023.
The operator training center, according to the minister, will address youth unemployment in certain ways. It will also ensure that the road equipment lasts as long as expected. He pleaded with the leaders to get the youths equipped to enroll in the training when the construction tasks conclude.
They anticipate having improved roads. This is thanks to the forthcoming budget’s increased allocation of Sh1 billion for roads by each district’s local government. The construction work for METRAC would, according to Japan’s ambassador to Uganda, Fukuzawa Hidemoto, also improve Uganda’s road infrastructure.
The government of Uganda bought road equipment from Japanese firms in 2015 for a total of $155 million. Also, its commitment to establishing better roads was shown by this decisive move. According to him, they are certain that Uganda’s Mechanical Engineering Training and Advisory Center will mark the next major milestone in Uganda-Japan relations.
Mr. Waiswa Bageya, the Ministry of Works and Transport’s Permanent Secretary, claimed that competent operators were inadequate. He also said that they came to the conclusion that the Mechanical Engineering Training Center has to make an intentional attempt to improve the standard of the training it offers to its best operators if the issue of recurring machinery breakdowns is to be solved.