KAMPALA – The government is in the final stages of rolling out electricity connection to all the 1, 403 sub-counties and 422 town councils across the country to the main power grid.
Ms. Irene Muloni, the minister of energy and mineral development while presenting the achievements of the sector during the NRM party manifesto week said government has already secured a loan of Shs 797, 269, 079, 368 billion [$212m] to affect the connections by 2021.
She explained that Uganda apparently has about 20 percent of the population connected to electricity, one of the lowest figures globally and that the number drops below 8 percent in rural areas.
“As a government, we want the unit cost of power dropped for everyone to access power in rural areas that is why we are connecting electricity to out sub-counties and this will also bring access to power by other people in rural areas,” said Ms. Muloni.
She said in that respect, government will absorb the major commercial and financial risk for rural electrification development and, by so doing, remove a critical obstacle to the rapid advancement of investment in the sector.
She added that Uganda apparently produces more than 1000MW of power and only 650 MW are utilized while 550 MW is not utilized anywhere that makes the unit cost of electricity to remain expensive.
She said under this project 4,000km of medium voltage networks and over 6,000km of low voltage network shall be constructed and that electrification of 590 unserved sub-counties countrywide will be implemented.
“Priority extensions to high power consuming loads such as medium and small scale industries will be implemented and in order to increase access rate to electricity from the current 28% and also grow the demand, Government is implementing the Electricity Connection Policy 2018,” said Ms. Muloni.
She explained further that under this policy, Government will subsidize fully the cost of electricity connection materials to enable citizens that are ready for electricity consumption to access a free electricity connection.
“And I believe this initiative will realise growth in access to electricity to 30% by end of 2020, and over 60% access by 2026, contributing an annual proportionate growth in consumption of about 30%,” said Ms. Muloni.
Mr. Hanns Kyazze the electronic specialist communications officer at Ministry of Energy and mineral development said the new strategy will focus on orchestrating resources and stakeholders to operate in a number of scaled-up service territories for which long-term electrification service business plans shall be developed. Ends