KAMPALA – The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development(MEMD) has on Monday, September 17, kicked off their ninth annual Joint Sector Review(JSR) at Speke Resort in Munyonyo under the theme”Harnessing Energy and Mineral Resources for industrialization and sustainable Economic Growth.”
The annual review provides an overview of the performance of the sector in the Financial Year(FY) 2018/19, assesses the progress of implementation so far of the FY 2019/20 work plans against the commitments made during last year’s JSR and the National Development Plan(NDP), the Presidential directives 2016 and actions and commitments outlined in the NRM Manifesto of the activities and interventions to be made in the FY 2020/21.
The Permanent Secretary MEMD Robert Kasande in his opening remarks mentioned that this year’s theme puts into perspective the important role of Uganda’s Energy and Mineral resources in achieving the national strategic direction for a transformed Ugandan society from a peasant to a modern and prosperous country.
“The main objectives of the 2019 JSR are to provide a basis for accountability on the use of Government resources across all sector stakeholders, harmonise plans across sector agencies and make appropriate recommendations and measures to address the challenges for improvement, foster collaboration between sector stakeholders and also act as a forum for information exchange with all sector stakeholders,” said Robert.
He also stated that sector briefs will be presented to highlight key achievements and performance in each sub-sector focusing on Sector Governance, Energy Planning, Management and Infrastructure Development, Biomass Energy Resource Management, Oil and Gas Subsector and Mineral Sub-sector.
Minister of State of Energy and Mineral Development Eng. Simon Lujanga in attendance welcomed and thanked everyone for attending the review despite their busy schedules.
“Since the very first JSR in 2011 to date, we have had an opportunity to discuss key performance points of our sectoral policies, plans and strategies to improve service delivery to all Ugandans. Specifically, at these reviews, we address sectoral planning and performance in line with the Public Finance Management Act 2015, (as amended),” said Simon.
Therefore, in that regard, Tuesday’s event provided another opportunity to have a detailed analysis and assessment of the performance of the sector for the FY 2018/19 and also to come up with priorities for the FY 2020/21.
The JSR opening was also attended by other development partners headed by Head of Cooperation Cedric Merely of the European Union, who represented the international partners in the energy and mineral sectors at the opening.
Cedric in his speech, appreciated all those who worked hard to prepare the conference as this is an essential part of the dialogue among sector stakeholders to agree on future priorities. He also went on to agree with the Government of Uganda on the importance of industrialization in transforming the country’s economy to a middle-income country, in relation to this year’s budget, whose main objective remains “Industrialization for job creation and shared prosperity”.
“The energy sector is a crucial enabler of this economic growth strategy. For example, inadequate electricity both in terms of quality and quantity is a key bottleneck for industrialization,” said Cedric. Therefore, the next challenge is to increase the demand and usage of power both to support the industrialization of the country as well as to serve more people and businesses both in urban and rural areas, he added to say.
During the two days of the conference, a lot is expected to be shared including discussions about the challenges and potential in the energy, oil, gas and mineral sector so as to continue to make the Energy and Mineral Development Sector a strategic contributor to the National Development and for effective service delivery.