Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi has said that government will support the rural-poor access modern energy.
By Ibrahim Kasita
Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi, has said that government will support the rural-poor access modern energy.
“The major constraints to accessing electricity are the inability, mainly in rural and peri-urban dwellers, to afford connection costs,” he observed.
“The NRM government, together with some development partners, is starting a subsidy scheme to ease the burden of the high upfront connection costs.”
Mbabazi who is also the ruling NRM party secretary general was speaking at the opening ceremony of the 3rd joint sector review for the ministry of energy and mineral development at Hotel African in Kampala on Monday.
The theme of this year’s sector review is “transforming Uganda through sustainable management and utilization of energy and mineral resources.
Government, Mbabazi said, has embarked on grid extension to improve power service delivery and cover most of the villages with power network.
He said emphasis is on connecting electricity to district headquarters, productive centers like factories, trading centers and social services such as health centres, educational institutions and water supply points.
The prime minister said investments cannot happen if there is no supporting infrastructure like electricity, roads and railways that lower the cost of doing business.
“Infrastructure development like electricity generation, transmission and distribution can only be enhanced when government save money to invest and also entice our development partners to provide reasonably priced capital for project development,” Mbabazi said.
“Government put in place and energy investment fund to mobilise funds for development of power projects and the supporting infrastructure.”
In the oil and gas sector, the Prime minister, said the industry is steadily moving to the development phases of the petroleum value chain.
“There have been continuous government efforts to promote the establishment of the country’s petroleum resources base and to achieve sustainable production,” Mbabazi said.
“These efforts have included building national expertise in the field of petroleum exploration, development and production, attraction of oil companies and emplacement of an appropriate policy and legal framework.
On mineral development, Mbabazi said, government has embarked on strengthening capacity of the mineral sector so as to address sectoral constraints and enable the sector to be attractive to investment.
“Government is now reviewing the current licensing policy so that we can separate licensing from monitoring of compliances,” he said.
Government focus in the mineral sector is on areas of geo-scientific surveys, human resources development, equipment and tools for acquisition and management of geo-scientific data and analytical laboratories.”
Mbabazi pointed out that geo-scientific data of up to 80% of the country has been acquired, and progress is being made to acquire the remaining 20% of the country.
The minister of energy and mineral development, Irene Muloni, said significant progress in increasing electricity generating capacity and transmission infrastructure has been made.
She said the medium-term concern is increase access to modern energy services through rural electrification and renewable energy development.
On oil and gas, Muloni said, the government has put in place enabling legislation –the petroleum (exploration, development and production) and the petroleum (refining, conversion, transmission and midstream storage) laws.
She said plans are underway to use the oil and gas resources for power generation and development of oil refinery.
“The development of Uganda’s petroleum resources, minerals resources and the energy sector require both public and private participation,” she appealed. “Investment requirements for such projects are heavy and require a conducive climate.”
Govt to ease burden of accessing modern energy