MBARARA – African Initiatives for Relief and Development (AIRD), an African NGO that delivers humanitarian assistance for those displaced by conflict & other disasters, in partnership with CFAO Motors Uganda, a leading provider of mobility solutions has announce the opening of an Authorized Service Centre (ASC) in Mbarara City, named Formula 21 Pitstop Auto Service Centre.
Launching of the project came about in recognition that for many people in the Southwest of Uganda, the nearest CFAO Motors Authorised Service Centre was in Fort Portal or Kampala.
The lengthy drive to either of these locations and the inconvenience of vehicles being out of service led to a joint agreement between AIRD Head Office and CFAO Motors Uganda (formerly Toyota Uganda) to develop a business that would meet the growing vehicle servicing, maintenance, and repair needs of individuals, NGOs and businesses in the South-West region.
Formula 21 Pitstop Auto Service is located on Plot 845, Block 7, Rwobuyenje, Mbarara City, North Division along Kampala-Mbarara Highway and it will also offer automotive mechanical skills training, which will empower marginalized groups and their host communities.
Customers in Mbarara and surrounding towns can now access high-quality automobile spare parts and services for Toyota and Suzuki vehicles, Yamaha Motorcycles, Hino trucks, and SINOTRUK.
Speaking at the unveiling ceremony, Mr Thomas Pelletier, the managing director at CFAO Motors Uganda, noted that their goal is to make quality automotive solutions accessible to everyone in Uganda and with the Formula 21 Pitstop Auto Service (ASC) in Mbarara, they will be offering genuine parts and professional services and support the growth of the local economy in the southwestern region.
“Formula 21 Pitstop Auto Service will be the fourth ASC by CFAO Motors in Uganda, with the other three being in Daks Toyota in Kampala, NN Arua, and Stitch & Sew in Fort Portal. This expansion is among the more comprehensive mobility solutions we will be rolling out to enhance customer accessibility and satisfaction by bringing world-class automotive solutions closer to our customers,” he explained.
Mr Pelletier added that their ASCs are authorized to provide authentic, reliable, and manufacturer-certified parts, ensuring that one receives the same top-tier components as those available in the Kampala and Namanve branches.
“This facility has highly skilled technicians with extensive knowledge and expertise in automotive maintenance and repair, ensuring the highest level of assessment and service offered to customers.”
In his remarks, Fikru Abebe Abebe, the chief executive officer at AIRD said building on 17 years of work in maintaining, repairing and servicing vehicles in emergency contexts for humanitarian agencies, AIRD has created a subsidiary social enterprise called Formula 21 Pitstop Auto Service that will deliver a high-quality, professional service for customers.
He noted that the business of Formula 21 Pitstop Auto service has the potential to contribute significantly to the local economy and the lives of those involved.
“The approaches align with the Government’s National Development Plan (NDPII) and Vision 2040, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and the interests of key stakeholders, including CFAO Motors and UNHCR.”
The event was graced by the City Mayor, Hon. Lord Mayor Robert Kakyebezi, who welcomed the new business in the city and commended the two organizations for not only addressing customer needs but creating employment and income for the locals, especially the youth, some of whom can be employed as mechanics among other direct and indirect opportunities presented by the Auto Service Centre.
Established in 2006, African Initiatives for Relief and Development (AIRD) is an African-initiated humanitarian organization that delivers world-class humanitarian support to those forcibly displaced.
AIRD’s key focus areas have been primarily in comprehensive logistical support for the transportation of refugees and non-food items, and extensive construction and infrastructure developments. As conditions in camps and settlements stabilise, including to the point of voluntary return for some refugees, AIRD becomes increasingly connected to the host communities, IDPs & refugees, through the provision of sustainable livelihoods, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene activities, multi-purpose skills development opportunities, renewable energy, and climate change mitigation and adaptation.