Prosper

Uganda to get solar oven plant early next year

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By Walter Wafula

Posted  Tuesday, November 16   2010 at  00:00
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A solar oven making plant that is aimed at curbing the high rate of deforestation in Uganda is set to be constructed in Kampala next year. The multi-million shilling factory will be set up by TEK Consults Group, a United States-based company with a subsidiary in Uganda, Business Power has established.

The company is part of the group of 14 companies in Africa that received up to $100,000 (Shs227 million) each in cash grants from the African Diaspora Market (ADM) Place in January this year.

ADM is a competitive entrepreneurial business programme, that seeks to boost economic opportunity in Sub-Saharan Africa through sustainable start-up and established enterprises by United States based - based African diaspora.
Mr Ronald Mutebi, the president TEK Consults, represented Uganda in the business competition that attracted more than 700 participants from 19 countries.

The competitors sought grants to match their own funds to support the execution of their business plans. Mr Mutebi is in the final stage of setting up the plant in Kampala with at least 1,000 ready customers according to the organisation.

Tek Consults intends to introduce the widespread use of high-quality solar cooking appliances as an alternative, to charcoal in Uganda and the rest of Africa.

The solar stoves are expected to eliminate the need for 70 per cent of the fuel wood that is currently consumed. “As businesspeople, we in the diaspora community want to contribute to economic development in our countries of origin. And we have the passion to succeed in creating opportunity,” Mr Mutebi said.

TEK has already shipped the first oven components to be assembled in Uganda and they are expected to be on sale in domestic supermarkets by January 2011.

Earthwise Ferries, another company that benefitted from the AMD programme, is set to launch a fast-ferry transportation system on Lake Victoria next month.

The company will operate and manage at least three ferries with the capacity to transport 150 passengers at ago. The business is expected to boost water transport on the world’s second largest lake by offering cheaper and timely services to traders in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania.

At the same time, Earthwise is seen bolstering the commercial growth of sunflower seeds to produce vegetable oil for the ferries that will transport people. The ferries are designed to run on either diesel or straight vegetable oil.

“Earthwise has enlisted 600 indigenous farmers to grow sunflower seeds to produce the vegetable oil,” a statement from AMD said on Friday.