Govt seeks to increase power connections to 4.5m 

Electricity connectivity remains a challenge especially in rural Uganda. Photo / File 

What you need to know:

  • There are currently less than two million connections on the national grid 

Government has launched a new project in which it will seek to increase electricity connections from less than two million to 4.5 million. 

The free-of-charge electricity connection in rural and urban areas under the Electricity Access Scale-up Project, which was launched in Katakwi District by Energy Minister Ruth Nankabirwa is being implemented by government in partnership with the Uganda Energy Credit Capitalisation Company under a Shs2.4 trillion World Bank-funded programme. 

While speaking at the launch of the project, Ms Nankabirwa said that electricity, though cheap, is an expensive service that requires beneficiaries to be creative enough to venture into businesses, noting that through the project, government would also foster use of clean energy to reduce environmental degradation. 

“The power which we are helping you to connect in your villages and urban centres is going to be paid for. Therefore, you must have some income to be able to pay for it,” she said.  

The Electricity Access Scale-up Project seeks to extend power to household and commercial establishments to 4.5 million connections of which 300,000 must be female-headed. 

Besides this programme, government is also embarking on the continuation of a rural electrification project funded by the African Development Bank. 

Ms Nankabirwa also used the same occasion to launch the continuation of rural electrification, directing service providers to expedite the process of completing stalled works in Teso.  

“Make sure you prioritise the project. Poles without wires, and those with complete connections without power, must function first before we start new connections,” she said. 

Eng Abdon Atwine, the Ministry of Energy commissioner rural electrification, said government had secured $ 100m for rural electrification from the African Development Bank, noting that two of the 11 parts of the project amounting to $4.8m would be invested in Bukedea to install 16 transformers, and to extend power to villages that initially did not benefit from the project.