Hydraform technology has been instrumental in creating jobs for hundreds of youth in Uganda.Our Reporter caught up with Harrison Busingye one of the shareholders and former director.
Below are the excerpts;
Briefly tell us more about the Hydraform involvements in Uganda before the current scenarios
During my time at Hydraform, I was able to popularize Hydraform in Uganda in almost all sectors. The climax being the construction of the Northern Uganda traditional chiefs houses under the OPM, to which I represented Hydraform as the project overseer.
I believe you were once an employee of Hydraform International South Africa what made you fall out with them?
I haven’t fallen out with Hydraform. I have been with Hydraform for the last 18 years as a shareholder and a director but a few years ago, in unclear circumstances a one Mr. Deon van der Westhuizen requested my intervention as a new business development director to help the company grow its market as he prepared it for sale.
Anyway, as long as I still hold my shares at Hyrdraform, am an authority there
How can the Hydraform technology be used as a tool for job creation in Uganda?
Ans: from my experience, Hydraform Technology is capable of creating enough employment for almost 30% of the redundant youth in Uganda if properly managed.
What impact has the technology brought in Northern Uganda with regard to job creation?
That’s very tricky. But in summary, I would say we did not achieve the objective. Inspite of the many houses built, the training and product quality objective failed because the OPM sidelined the training component in exchange for speed and contracted staff of local expert company HydraHomes who then built the houses across the region.
How would you suggest the technology can best be used to enhance job creation?
This is possible through the private sector Intervention and already through the Rural Urban Mutual Investment (RUMI project), we have illustrated that this is possible. Fore instance; a pilot training project in Ntungamo, Arua, Soroti and Gulu districts has transformed the lives of youths from earning nothing to earning over Shs300,000 per month.
How? For example in Ntungamo, about 32 youths were trained on how to apply this technology as an income generating business. These youth now have the capacity and skills to contract and manage big construction projects. Some of these youths are currently engaged in a series of projects spread across the country.
In a recent publication there were reports of an impending sale of Hydraform International, the main suppliers of Hydraform machines. How true is this?
To the best of my knowledge it’s true.
But these reports have been refuted, how true is it?
Ans; Well, I have not seen facts as stated in the said paper, neither have I seen the objection. But all I know as shareholder, the matter of sale is real; it was discussed and agreed that 30 percent of the shares be sold off. However, it later emerged that the buying company had secretly been offered 51 percent of the shares.
In case it is true that the firm is being sold off, isn’t this going to hurt the current Hydraform projects in the country?
Yes off cause, it in-fact has already caused dissenting voices amongst the shareholders, who see the future for our entire market in limbo. The buying company has stated clearly in its offer that it would change name to Newco and this would affect the whole setup and brand as their interests are majorly focused on different stuff.
Is there evidence to this?
of cause am a shareholder and I have all the relevant literature to this effect.
Where does this leave the Ugandan market?
if this happens, the local company HydraHomes that was commissioned by government as capable to support and develop capacity for proper application of the technology, will salvage the situation. Moreover, there are also many other players with similar technology worldwide.