Africa

Uganda launches last mile connectivity to increase electricity access to rural communities

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Uganda launches last mile connectivity to increase electricity access to rural communities

This will improve the quality of maternal and child health services in addition to supporting government efforts to curb the Covid-19 pandemic

IBANGA, Uganda, September 26, 2021 / APO Group / –

With the support of the African Development Bank (www.AfDB.org) and other partners, the Ugandan government launched the last mile connectivity component as part of the Uganda Rural Electricity Access Project in Iganga, in the eastern district of Luuka.

During the event of September 14, 2021, the Ministry of Energy and Mining Development handed over electrical connection accessories to Uganda’s main electricity distribution company, UMEME Limited, to facilitate the connection of 87 500 rural households with affordable electricity.

In September 2015, the African Development Bank provided a loan of $ 100 million to the government for the project, in addition to a grant of € 11.2 million (approximately $ 13 million) from the Trust Fund of the European Union for Infrastructure in Africa.

The objective of the project is to provide reliable and affordable electricity to rural households, public institutions and small and medium enterprises. Overall, the program will significantly contribute to achieving the goal of the country’s national development plan to increase access to electricity to 60%.

A recent household survey conducted by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics indicates that the national electricity access rate has increased to 57%, comprising 19% and 38% of on-grid and off-grid connections, respectively. The project is expected to be completed at the end of December 2022.

In her remarks at the launch, Ugandan Energy and Mining Development Minister Ruth Nankabirwa thanked the Bank and the European Union for facilitating the government’s efforts to extend electricity to rural communities. She urged the beneficiaries of the project to take advantage of the government’s free electricity policy that it rolled out in 2018, provided that the wiring of their premises has been certified.

Bank Country Director Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan noted that in addition to promoting small and medium enterprises, the availability of stable energy would enhance service delivery, especially in health centers. “This will improve the quality of maternal and child health services in addition to supporting government efforts to curb the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.

The project aligns with one of the Bank’s five priority areas, “Light Up and Power Africa”. Currently, the Bank’s active portfolio in Uganda comprises 24 operations with a net commitment of approximately $ 1.71 billion. Specifically, the Bank is involved in the entire Ugandan power supply industry value chain, spanning generation, transmission and distribution, with total support of over $ 666 million by the through public and private sector funding.

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