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Inaugural energy Mkutano is today, focusing on energy and economy

David Ofungi

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Energy is a key driver for economic growth and development across all economies. It is the catalyst through which real transformation can be achieved due to its multiplier effects across many aspects of our lives.

It is against this background that The Mkutano and Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development have today (Sept.21) convened the Inaugural Energy Mkutano 2021 which will focus on sustainable energy and economic development.

The dialogue brought together actors on the supply and demand side of power incorporating project developers, government technocrats, development partners and funders deliberate on key issues affecting the sector particularly in light of pending reforms.

The Uganda Vision 2040 aims to have access to clean, affordable and reliable energy to facilitate industrialization, among others. It was imperative therefore, for increased access to energy to feature as a key component of the third National Development Plan (NDP III).

This fits hand in glove with the Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG 7) that speaks to the need for universal access to affordable and clean energy.

Uganda has much to celebrate since the passing of the Electricity Act (1999). Investment in generation over the past 15 years has increased with a total installed capacity poised to increase to just under 2,000 MW after Karuma comes on stream. This is more than ten-fold increase from the 160 MW that the country had less than two decades ago.

There is however, some work yet to be accomplished primarily around mid-stream and downstream infrastructure.

Selestino Babungi, the Managing Director for Umeme said as key partners in the development agenda of Uganda, Umeme is at the heart of supporting government’s industrialisation plans as per the NDPIII.

“Umeme has invested over USD 739 million over the last 16 years in the distribution network through building sub stations, increasing the network, transformer injection all of which have been of great contribution to the energy sector milestones,” he said.

Bikhado Ofungi, the curator Energy Mkutano said that “the Mkutano series of conferences was conceived in 2017 in order to bring about a more qualitative and action-oriented aspect to the conferencing space in Uganda in which all cogs in the stakeholder wheel play a role”.

The theme has been met with high-level institutional validation from U.S. Government- funded Power Africa initiative, United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), Stanbic Bank, Umeme, National Social Security Fund (NSSF) and more.

Action points from the event are expected to be picked by the government to further growth in the energy sector and the economy in general.

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