Geita, UDSM sign pact to manufacturing electric vehicles

28Sep 2020
Prosper Makene
The Guardian
Geita, UDSM sign pact to manufacturing electric vehicles

IN a rare feat, Geita Region and University of Dar es Salaam have signed a memorandum of understanding to pave the way for an ambitious joint project to manufacture electric vehicles.

Geita RC Engineer Robert Gabriel (C ) witnessing the exchange of documents between Geita Town Council and University of Dar es Salaam’s College of Technology and Engineering after the signing of a memorandum of understanding to jointly manufacture electric vehicles in the region. Photo courtesy of Geita RC.

The first joint partnership project in the country and probably East Africa, will be implemented by Geita Town Council and UDSM’s College of Engineering and Technology (CoET). Speaking after witnessing the two sides sign the MoU over the weekend, Geita Regional Commissioner,  Engineer Robert Gabriel said the project will commence next month and the first EV roll out of the factory by February next year.

“We have collaborated with the University of Dar es Salaam to make sure that the ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi’s manifesto is well implemented this time around,” he said adding that the world will see Tanzania have its electric vehicles made in Geita next year hence supporting President John Magufuli’s industrialization drive.

In remarks after the signing, UDSM’s College of Engineering and Technology’s Manager for Technology Development and Transfer Centre Engineer, Dr Simon Marandu said in 2019, Technology Development and Transfer Centre (TDTC) of CoET pioneered to develop an electric vehicle. TDTC started the design and sought funds to develop the prototype.” TDTC could secure funds for developing the vehicle in a year,” he said.

Eng Marandu added that in January this year, Geita Regional Commissioner, Eng. Robert Gabriel visited the university during which he met with CoET management under its Principal, Prof Bakari Mwinyiwiwa where plans to collaborate in developing the EVs were agreed.

“During the discussions, the RC agreed to support the design and development of two electric vehicle prototypes by investing 50m/- to which the CoET Principal agreed,” Dr Marandu added.

He further explained that the design of the two battery electric vehicles started in February, 2020 with one of them being for police patrolling with capacity of carrying two officers while the second one is for urban transportation with capacity of carrying five passengers, including the driver.

“The design of the two EVs has been completed and the signing of the agreement for funding to develop two prototypes,” TDTC Manager noted while unveiling that estimated cost to develop the two EVs prototypes is 65m/-. UDSM through CoET will contribute the balance.

He pointed out that the prototypes will be developed at TDTC and undergo vigorous testing until they meet safety standards of the transportation sector in the country. The time frame for developing the two EV prototypes is six months starting October this year.

“Upon successful testing and commissioning, UDSM and Geita Region through Geita Town Council will work together to develop a production facility in Geita Town where the EVs will be produced in mass,” he elaborated.

Speaking at the sideline of the signing ceremony, Prof Simon Msanjila, the Permanent Secretary at Ministry of Minerals commended the partnership saying it paves way for collaboration between intellectuals and public institutions to develop the nation.“Since we have all the minerals that are essential in manufacturing of electric vehicles, my ministry will give all the support to make sure that this succeeds,” Prof Msanjila said

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