Catalyzing Clean Energy Access in Uganda with Climate Financing – A Roundtable discussion

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How can the private sector be mobilized to financing in clean energy in Uganda? 25 experts with different backgrounds including energy, finance, climate change and communication discussed about Climate Financing in Uganda and other key-questions concerning energy access in round table in Kampala on the 3th of May.

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Roundtable

To step forward, more households need access to electricity in Uganda. According to the Energy website supported by the German Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) only 20% of Ugandas population had access to electricity in 2014. Although the numbers are growing, the percentage of people connected to electricity is still very low, to make significant changes in Ugandan economic environment. Opening the event, Donnas Ojok, KAS-Programme Officer focused on the point that it is necessary to be prepared for the fight against climate change and pursue the necessary discussions. Therefore, the Konrad-Adenauer Stiftung cooperates and supporting the work of the African Center for Trade and Development (ACTADE). “It starts with everybody” he finished.

Susan Nanduddu, Executive Director of ACTADE, started her moderation with a deeply introduction into the following panel and plenary discussion. “What is our country doing to archive the aims of the Paris Agreement?” she asked and determined that “we need the private sector at the front line to fight against the climate change”. The Ugandan Government tries to handle the agreement with four main goals: Increasing the effectivity of biomass, renewable energy promotion, better use of hydro energy and support for the modern energy sector. Without the private sector these aims could never be achieved, she finished and opened the panel-discussion.

The field of solar energy was pointed by Mr. Abdulla Kyezira from the Uganda National Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Alliance. “Solar is one of the ways, but not the solution” he reminded the Participants. Due to the fact that the sun is not shining permanently, solar energy cannot ensure the security of supply. It would be wiser to focus on investments in other energy fields, he concludes. The Uganda Energy Credit Capitalization Company provides loans in Cooperation with KfW, Postbank and Financial Thrust Bank to small businesses and households so they can invest in renewable Energy. He execute that there would be enough money, but there is a need to implement a better use of the given funds.

John Ssemulema, The Case of Climate Finance Readiness Programme (GIZ), took the same line. Especially since implementing the global Green Climate Fund the monetary resources to invest are given. Mr. Ssemulema continues that there are even enough private sector actors willing to invest in the Clean Energy Access in Uganda. But there is no platform for negotiations between government and private actors. So the potential climate financing cannot get linked with the money needed projects. David Ebong, Chairperson Board of Directors of Clean Energy Partnership Africa (CEPA) highlights the role of biomass. Everyone in Uganda can use biomass even when they are not attached with the electricity grid. How can the public sector be motivated to invest in clean green energy in Uganda? The plenary discussion agreed in two main points: The implementation of a negotiation-platform and the responsible use of the existing funds. The participants discussed lively about other recommendations on how to push the climate financing in Uganda, e.g. points like clean public transportation and green food industry. The plenary discussion and the panel show that there are lots of things to do. So the roundtable doesn’t want to deliver results. Rather be an exchange of opinions-platform.

The roundtable discussion can only be an intermediate step towards a big conference facing that topic, Mathias Kamp, Country Director KAS, said in his warp up. A big, wide network is needed to discuss and follow up the process aiming in an increasing figure of households linked to the power grid in Uganda. The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung is glad to cooperate with the African Center for Trade and Development, a strong and ambitious actor in the field of fighting against climate change, Mathias Kamp finished and closed the roundtable discussion.

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Uganda, May 8, 2017