Uganda’s State Minister for Energy, Sidronious Okaasai, has announced a significant effort to increase electricity connections in the country. The initiative will particularly target schools, hospitals, trading centers, and value-addition centers.
Okaasai highlighted a specific focus on connecting electricity to new secondary schools under construction, aiming to boost overall electricity consumption. Speaking at the evaluation workshop for the accelerated rural electrification program project, he emphasized the importance of connecting value addition centers and water pumping stations to support production.
The accelerated rural electrification program project aims to connect sub-counties currently lacking electricity access, totaling 287 nationwide. The goal is to directly connect over 170,000 customers to the grid within the next three years.
Okaasai encouraged Ugandans to utilize the increased electricity availability for value addition and productive activities. He outlined the government’s commitment to achieving universal electricity coverage by 2025 and producing 52,418 MW of power in Uganda by 2040.
The government is implementing various projects, including grid extension, independent grids, off-grid solutions, photovoltaic systems, and renewable energy generation projects. The Electricity Connections Policy aims for a 60% connection rate by 2027, with a target of 6,303,923 households.
To achieve this, the government has allocated $558.4 million (sh2.1 trillion) and is actively involving international partners. TBEA Co. Ltd is currently undertaking a rural electrification program, with a concessional loan of $212 million (sh796 billion) from the Export-Import Bank of China.
China’s Ambassador to Uganda, Zhang Lizhong, emphasized that China’s financing for Uganda’s infrastructure projects comes with low interest rates and no political strings attached. The current project is expected to significantly improve rural electrification coverage, promoting economic and social development in local communities.
Despite facing severe constraints in the power sector, Uganda aims to address its low level of electricity connectivity, especially in remote areas. A new electricity law has been passed to enhance the regulation and governance of the electricity sector, with a focus on economic development and poverty reduction.