The government has said it is banking hopes on the private sector players in the energy mix to accelerate universal access to power by 2040 when Uganda is expected to produce 52,000 megawatts of electricity.
Sidronious Okasaai Opolot, the State Minister for Energy and Mineral Development made the statement while addressing local and international exhibitors at the launch of Power and Electric Uganda Expo 2023 at the Lugogo UMA Show Grounds in Kampala on Thursday.
The three-day day event which will end on Saturday 15 July 2023 is a pioneer edition of Uganda’s premium Power, Electricity, and related industries International Expo. The exhibitors seek to explore the untapped potential of the East Africa Community – EAC market.
Okasaai explained that in order for the Government to expeditiously deliver on this ambitious plan as enshrined in the country’s National Development Plan III and Vision of 2040, the contribution of the private sector is eminent to achieve the goal.
Speaking at the same function, Dr. Ezra Muhumuza Rubanda, the Executive Officer of the Uganda Manufacturers Association – UMA observed that the Expo will benefit Ugandan exhibitors through the transfer of technology, and business partnerships to enable growth of the energy sector.
Eng. Abdon Atwiine, the Commissioner of the Electrical Supply Division in the Ministry of Energy, said while the Expo provides awareness and growth opportunities for domestic companies in Uganda, emphasis should be put on the safety, standard, and efficiency of the equipment to end users.
The Expo is being conducted under the theme: “Technology, Investment, and Infrastructure Enabling Sustainability”. It has attracted international professionals, wholesalers, decision-makers, importers, and exporters from India and the East African region.
However, Singh Rawat Upender, the High Commissioner of India to Uganda observed that the country’s numerous renewable energy resources like bioenergy, water/hydro, solar, and others that can be used for energy production and the provision of energy services are still yet untapped.
Singh said the steady increase in the demand for commodities in the power and electricity segment in Uganda is indicative of the growing market, and pledged the continuous technical, and financial support of the Indian Government to nurture Uganda’s energy sector and economic growth.
Uganda is endowed with abundant energy resources, which include hydropower, biomass, solar, geothermal, peat, and fossil fuels. However, the s main source of energy is biomass and hydropower power generation which accounts for about 84% of the 822 megawatts total installed capacity.
According to the World Bank collection of development indicators in 2021, access to electricity in Uganda was reported at 45.22 percent of the estimated 45 million people. About 60% of the population in urban areas have electricity while in rural areas it is still limited to 18%, although increasing.
Globally, 759 million people – 1 out of 10 – do not have access to electricity to light their homes, it is estimated that 2.6 billion people have to rely on dirty biomass fuels such as charcoal, coal, and animal waste for cooking.
Target 7:1-3 of the United Nations – UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) requires enhanced international cooperation to facilitate access to clean energy research and technology, including renewable energy, energy efficiency, and advanced and cleaner fossil-fuel technology, and promote investment in energy infrastructure and clean energy technology.