Ugandans seeking access to electricity can now be optimistic
that they will receive connections as the Government will soon provide the
necessary funding for free connections following the World Bank Board’s
approval of the proposed Electricity Access Scale-up Project (EASP) on March
Designed to boost Government’s ongoing energy access
initiatives, the EASP is a five-year project that will deliver about 1.3
million last mile connections on both the grid and off grid, expand the
electricity network, promote clean cooking solutions and support productive use
of electricity (PUE). The project will target households, businesses,
institutions, industrial parks, refugee settlements and their host communities.
On the World Bank Board’s approval of the EASP, the
Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development (MEMD),
Ms. Irene Bateebe said:
“The Ministry is pleased that the World Bank Board has approved the Electricity
Access Scale-up Project. We shall hence proceed to Cabinet and then Parliament
for approval. We hope to have implementation start in Financial Year 2022/2023.
The EASP will go a long way in providing free connections for millions of
Ugandans under the Electricity Connections Policy and unlock the socio-economic
benefits that access to electricity comes with.”
The project will bring relief to the many that have been
awaiting connection to electricity under the Electricity Connections Policy
(ECP). Funding challenges have affected the provision of free connections since
April 2020, leaving a considerable backlog of applications pending connection.
The anticipated funding will revamp the ECP and put it back on track to
providing many more Ugandans with electricity connections. Additional Funding
for the ECP With funding support from the French Development Agency (AFD) and
the European Union (EU), the MEMD is also putting together a project that will
provide over 260,000 electricity connections. It is expected that this project
will also become effective in the latter part of 2022. This is one of several
other funding avenues that the Government is pursuing to ensure sustained
funding for the ECP and other access-related initiatives.
Adequate and sustained funding is needed to ensure that the
ECP meets its goal of increasing Uganda’s electrification level to 60% by 2027.
In meeting this target, the ECP will contribute significantly to the
achievement of national and international clean energy access targets like the
third National Development Plan (60% access by 2025), Vision 2040 (universal
access by 2040) and Sustainable Development Goal 7 (universal access by 2030).
It is therefore anticipated that with the funding for
connections from the World Bank, AFD/EU and other development partners,
implementation of the ECP will run unimpeded and help deliver on the
Government’s ambitions of providing clean energy to all Ugandans by 2040.
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