Renewable energy: UK Gov’t invests $20m in Uganda

By Jovita Mirembe

The funding was given to MKOPA Solar Company to avail solar in hard-to-reach areas and among low income earners

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PIC: David Damberger (second-left) and Tony Burdon (third-left) with MKOPA staff  (Credit: Jovita Mirembe)


The UK government, through the Department for International Development (DFID), has invested $20m into renewable energy to a solar company known as MKOPA Solar, for rural people in Uganda.

Tony Burdon, the head of the private sector department at DFID, said during a meeting at the MKOPA head offices in Lubowa on Wednesday, that the funding was given to MKOPA Solar Company in Uganda to help spread solar access to hard-to-reach areas and among low income earners. The move is to promote the use of clean energy.

“Many Ugandans, especially children, are being affected by the smoke that comes from kerosene lamps which causes diseases such as cough and pneumonia when  inhaled and also pollutes the environment.

"We, therefore, as the UK government saw it fit to invest this money to help in   expanding  and reaching out to more low income earners and poor communities. Solar energy can be used to watch television and listen to radio, all at a much cheaper cost," said Burdon.

The managing director of MKOPA, David Damberger, said the investment will help in creating  more jobs for mostly the youth in rural areas, who will help the company in identifying people who need this energy. The company currently has projects in Mukono, Mityana, Wakiso, Mbarara, Mubende, among other areas.