“All Ugandans to have Access to Electricity by 2030” – says the Minister of Energy and Mineral Development, Dr Ruth Nankabirwa Ssentamu

The Minister of Energy and Mineral Development, Dr Ruth Nankabirwa Ssentamu, passionately reiterated the government’s pledge to ensure that every corner of the nation is powered by 2030.

Speaking on February 14 to a mammoth crowd at Apopong Catholic Parish in Kolir Sub-county, Buledea district, Eastern Uganda, Minister Nankabirwa outlined the government’s priority to illuminate every Ugandan home, school, and business as a cornerstone of socio-economic transformation.

Representing the Speaker of Parliament, Dr Annet Anita Among, at the political commissioning of the Uganda Rural Electrification Access Project (UREAP), Minister Nankabirwa remarked, “This government worked tirelessly over the past few years to bring peace and security to every part of Uganda. Now we want to bring socio-economic transformation, and my Ministry is at the forefront of this endeavour.”

Highlighting the significant strides made in boosting the nation’s power generation capacity from a modest 100 MW in 1986 to an impressive 2,000 MW today, she celebrated the integration of the 600 MW Karuma Hydropower Plant.

“The people of Uganda have been scrambling for the little power we had, and the government was planning to develop more power plants. Now we’re looking to develop our generating capacity way above 52,000 MW by 2040,” she declared, underlining the government’s vision for a power-abundant future.

With the electricity infrastructure in place, the focus has now shifted to ensuring widespread access to electricity. “We now know you need power for schools, hospitals, homes, and businesses. The government will give you access to electricity, and we want you to use this power productively,” Minister Nankabirwa urged, emphasising the importance of utilising energy for income-generating activities.

Minister Nankabirwa also praised the Speaker of Parliament, referring to her as “Maama Nalongo Toto,” a pivotal figure deserving unanimous support. She expressed optimism about the ongoing support for the Speaker and the government’s initiatives, highlighting her own long-standing service in Parliament and her commitment to enhancing energy access throughout Uganda, especially in the Teso region.

The electrification projects in Bukedea district, which include over 40 kilometres of new power lines and the addition of several transformers, serve as a testament to the government’s dedication to its electrification goals.

Dr Nankabirwa thanked the African Development Bank, the EU-Africa Infrastructure Trust Fund, contractors, and partners for their pivotal roles in advancing these initiatives.

The Minister highlighted the new Electricity Access Scale-up Project (EASP), whose national launch was held in Mitooma District earlier this month, as a game-changer in the connectivity of over a million more Ugandan households.
She said the projects are a significant stride towards achieving Uganda’s targets under the Electricity Connections Policy 2018, the universal access by 2030, and alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals and our National Vision 2040.

Eng. Abdon Atwiine, representing the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Ms Irene Bateebe, echoed the Minister’s sentiments, celebrating the collaborative efforts that have brought these projects to fruition. He highlighted the transformative impact of electrification on economic opportunities and living standards, and he outlined ambitious plans for further expanding access to electricity across Uganda.

As Uganda stands on the brink of an electrified future, Minister Nankabirwa’s speech serves as a beacon of hope and a call to action for all stakeholders to support and participate in the nation’s energy revolution. With a concerted effort from government ministries, development partners, and citizens, Uganda is poised to achieve universal electricity access by 2030, lighting up the path to a brighter, more prosperous future for all its inhabitants.