The Minister of State for Energy Hon. Okaasai Sidronius Opolot has said that the government of Uganda is implementing an energy mix strategy -which balances the productive utilisation of all the country’s natural resources while conserving the environment and gradually transitioning from fossil to clean energy .
Mr. Okaasi said that government through the Ministry Energy is also promoting the efficient and rational utilisation of energy in all sectors of the economy, with the aim of easing the burden of energy cost on the economy and the environment. The initiatives are aligned to the Sustainable Energy Development Programme of the NDPIII. Within this, it is in alignment with Objective 4 – Promoting utilisation of energy efficient practices and technologies.
The Minister noted that because of the well thought through -Energy strategy Uganda is marching together with the rest of the world to adopt E-mobility technologies with the country’s automotive industry captains -Kiira Motors taking the lead .
“ A shift to electric vehicles that has been championed by our own Kiira Motors Corporation has proven beyond doubt that it is cheaper to use electric vehicles than fuel based vehicles. In order to provide for electric charging of electric vehicles, my Ministry has embarked on developing a framework for setting up electric vehicles charging stations. We are cognisant of the fact that access to electricity, and affordability of electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure are the two major barriers for EV adoption,” Minister Okasai stated .
“The development of EVs cannot be separated from the charging infrastructure. There are challenges in the initial phase of EVs development and the low uptake of EVs often hinders the investment enthusiasm of investors for charging infrastructure and vice versa, making them drop into a chicken and egg dilemma. To resolve this problem, a comprehensive planning scheme for an EV charging eco-system is therefore necessary and critical,” he added .
Minister Okaasi was delivering a keynote speech during the Energy Efficiency and Electric Mobility Conference now taking place at Speke Resort Munyonyo in Kampala. This conference is one of the events of this year’s Energy and Minerals Week, whose theme is “Energy and Minerals for sustainable Industrialization and Economic Recovery.”
The conference sponsored by GIZ, UNDP and SNV among others was organised to dialogue on issues of efficient utilisation of energy as well as electric mobility uptake in Uganda.
The Minister of Science , Technology and innovation Dr. Monica Musenero in her presentation about Uganda’s Roadmap for transitioning to electric mobility underscored the role of science and innovation in transforming society .”Africa should stop delegating thinking . we must support our scientists and innovators to commercialise local innovations that will not only provide solutions to local problems but also lead to economic growth and national development ,” Dr. Musenero told the conference .
Those in attendance included a team from Kiira Motors who were led by the company’s Executive Chairman , Prof. Sandy Stephens Tickodri- Togboa.
Prof. Tickodri during a panel discussion called for an urgent review of university and other tertiary intuitions curricular to make it more practical oriented for students to get hands on skills to make them employable . “ Kiira Motors is a clear example that Ugandan students can innovate and follow through with their innovations up-to commercialization if given the right learning environment and practical skills . This is the direction the country should take ,” he emphasized .
The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Energy Eng. Irene Batebe in a speech read for her by the director Energy Resources Eng. Cecilia Menya said that because biomass, petroleum and electricity are becoming increasingly scarce and generally expensive- it was vital to ensure that all available energy resources are utilized as efficiently as possible.
“The Ministry is taking a lead role in the promotion of electric mobility through ensuring provision of sustainable and reliable electricity. This will be further achieved with a project on electric vehicle charging infrastructure eco system,” she added .
Eng. Batebe reiterated President Yoweri Museveni’s directive for Uganda to transition to E-mobility and the need to promote local minerals for the production of batteries from lithium and steel from Uganda’s high grade local iron ore resources.
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