ELECTRICITY CONNECTIVITY IS A KEY GOVERNMENT PRIORITY;ENERGY MINISTRY PERMANENT SECRETARY ENG. BATEBE ASSURES AFDB MISSION

BY Our Business Reporter

Government is committed to  fast track electricity connectivity and stimulate demand by exploring innovative approaches to enhancing the power value chain in the country , the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development , Eng. Irene Batebe has stated .

“This includes a strategy that carves out a role for private sector participation in the operations and financing of much-needed infrastructure and the development of a sector-wide least cost integrated resource plan,” she said. The Ministry of energy is committed to having as many Ugandans as possible get connected to the national grid and other clean energy sources to save the environment .

Eng. Irene Batebe PS Ministry of Energy engaging AFDB mission executives

Eng. Batebe was speaking at the end of a five-day engagement between the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development and the African Development Bank (AfDB) mission which commenced on the 16th of May 2022.

The objective of the AFDB mission according to the Ministry of Energy- Head of Communication Dr. Patricia Litho  was to engage the government of Uganda on three key interventions namely which included support for Electricity Cooperatives through a Uganda Development Bank (UDB) line of credit of up to US$ 70M.

Dr. Patricia Litho Head of communication and Corporate Affairs at the Energy Ministry

The other objective of the engagement was technical and advisory support to the government of Uganda for private sector participation in the transmission segment; and to review or revamp the capacity support program for the energy sector.

Eng. Batebe said that the ministry has put in place plans to improve the reliability of the transmission and distribution network. “ As regards to the transmission network, the MEMD is considering the option of opening up the sector to private investment with support from AfDB. A private investment framework will be needed to guide the process,” she said adding that this development underpins the role of Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) in expediting the development of Uganda’s energy sector.

Eng. Bateebe thanked the AfDB for accepting to provide technical and advisory support to the government of Uganda. “These interventions will be structured under the PPP framework with the MEMD taking a lead as sector coordinator to ensure coherence,” she stated.

The AfDB Country Manager Uganda, Mr. Augustine Ngafuan, affirmed the alignment between Uganda’s development agenda interests and the bank’s strategic priorities.

“This falls under the ‘New Deal on Energy for Africa’ strategy that prioritises sectoral support for energy security and universal access, enhanced governance at the national level, innovation to increase financial flows in the energy sector, and the promotion of social and environmental responsibility,” he said.

Mr. Ngafuan also took note of the changes currently underway in Uganda’s energy sector and expressed AfDB’s willingness to render support in this regard. He emphasised the need for cross-agency collaboration between the various actors in Uganda’s energy value chain whilst simultaneously tapping into the competencies and resources from the private sector.

The AfDB mission engaged with a variety of stakeholders including the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MFPED), Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA), Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited (UEGCL), Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Ltd (UETCL), Uganda Development Bank (UDB), the Rural Electrification Agency (REA), National Planning Authority(NPA) and the Public Private Partnership (PPP) Unit.

AfDB continues to be a strategic partner for the energy sector to accelerate access to reliable and affordable electricity. This is in line with Uganda’s Vision 2040 that acknowledges energy as a key ingredient in harnessing the potential for inclusive economic growth.

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