Sweden signs US$153M energy deal for SMEs in Uganda

Sweden signs US$153M energy deal for SMEs in Uganda

Sweden, via the bilateral strategy for Uganda, has signed US$ 153M energy deal for SMEs in Uganda with the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) and the ministry of Energy for the Renewable Energy Challenge Fund executed by UNCDF in Uganda.

Mr. Alhaji Jallow, the UN resident coordinator in Uganda, said the joint venture intends to support Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Uganda to introduce product and service delivery in markets served insufficiently around the nation, particularly in countryside regions.

In Uganda, the UNCDF Clean Start Programme (CSP) initiated in 2015, is co-investing US $1.8m in the initial phase of business ideas related to funding distributed energy services, enabling five energy and fiscal service suppliers to maintain innovation resolutely on their agenda while structuring their business for potential growth.

“In the course of this joint venture, more energy SME’s in Uganda can profit from initial stage investments and make changes in serving customers,” said Jallow.

Speaking prior to the signing of the accord last week at the Swedish Embassy in Kampala, the Swedish ambassador to Uganda, H.E Per Lindgarde, said the contribution will enable at least 15 extra enterprises to develop and increase access to cost-effective energy for more than 150,000 homes by the year 2020.

The initiative will also see to decrease in green house gas release of almost 150,000 tones every year while creating employment opportunities for women and youth.

Energy access is still a big challenge for Uganda with only 20 per cent of the inhabitants having electricity and more than 90 per cent of the homes relying on biomass for cooking.

Mr. James Banaabe, the commissioner for energy efficiency and conservation, at the Energy ministry, said the CSP is extremely useful in assisting to connect the citizens in rural areas who are yet to be connected to the national power grid.

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