Uganda: Defence Ministry, Japan to Build Modern Hospital

Kampala — The National Enterprise Corporation (NEC) has signed a memorandum of understanding with a Japanese construction company to undertake infrastructure development and build an ultra-modern hospital through the Japan Africa Development initiative.

NEC, the business arm of the Ministry of Defence, signed the understanding together with Katayanagi Construction Company of Japan at the Ministry of Defence headquarters in Mbuya yesterday.

Katayanagi is a big private construct company in Japan.

Brig Ddiba Sentongo, the deputy managing director of NEC, signed on behalf of NEC while Mr Masanori Yamazaki signed on behalf Katayanagi and Ms Hamida Kibirige signed on behalf of Japan Africa Development.

Modern facility

The signing of the memorandum was witnessed by Minister of State for Defence, Mr Bright Rwamirama and Prof Isao Iijima, the senior advisor to the Prime Minister of Japan.

"We are going to build a state of the art hospital with modern equipment that will benefit the entire region," Prof Iijima announced at the signing.

He donated five fire tenders and five ambulances in the meantime to boost the Ministry of Defence's capacity to fight fire and deliver the sick to hospitals in the immediate term, saying the hospital will take about five years to build.

Mr Rwamirama welcomed the initiative and pledged government's support for the project.

"We have our Chieftaincy of Medical Services, we are going to see how the hospital will work whether you will operate it and hand it over after 30 years, we shall see what is agreeable," Mr Rwamirama said.

He said, at the moment, the Ministry of Defence was in the process of building a national military hospital and promised to seek the Japan government's help to equip the hospital.

Identifying other projects

The general manager of NEC construction, Mr Brian Buhanda, said their next step was to identify projects where the two entities will partner on huge construction in a bid to enhance skills and technological transfer.

"There is a lot of funding that the Japanese Government is bringing to Uganda and NEC has the experience to undertake those projects," Mr Buhanda said.

On the sidelines of the function, Prof Iijima handed over a consignment of 100 ultra-modern sewing machines to help improve the welfare of veterans, wives and orphans of UPDF soldiers.

"This donation comes at a time when the Ministry of Defence is re-integrating veterans back into civilian life. It will help veterans get involved in gainful activities, so that they are self-sustaining," Ms Rosette Byengoma said during the handover ceremony.

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