REALITY CHECK #10

Powering Uganda’s Transformation

This 10th edition of the reality check examines the role of energy as a driver and shaper of economic transformation in Uganda. The quest for decent access to affordable energy presents a major development concern today. It would be unimaginable for a country to achieve inclusive growth and sustained peace without providing access to energy, especially to electricity for all.

Uganda is a thriving country, which aims for an economic transformation from an agrarian based economy into an industrial nation. This report focuses on the transformation process ahead and explores the relationship between energy and economic transformation in Uganda. The 10th Reality Check attempts to reframe the energy discourse to focus on energy as a driver of development.

After identifying the role of energy for economic transformation, the report presents an overview of the current status of Uganda’s energy sector and its performance in driving economic transformation The results of the Reality Check show, that Uganda’s current economy is heavily relying on biomass, a limited resource, and to a smaller amount on petroleum products and electricity.

However, the study identified key constraints like unreliability of electricity, unequal access to electricity and the finite nature of biomass such as wood and charcoal. Furthermore, the report explores several opportunities to overcome those constraints. Finally the results imply that Uganda’s energy sector must become more sustainable, inclusive, reliable and accessible in order to help Uganda’s economy to transform on the long term. Based on these results the study argues, that a economic transformation will only be possible, if households and companies have access to reliable energy sources.

The Government of Uganda has expressed its commitment towards transforming the country from an agrarian low-income country to a modern upper middle-income status country by 2041, thereby lifting the vast majority of households out of poverty, giving them the purchasing power to buy more modern energy, among other things. The findings of the publications however argue that while household access is crucial to improving the population’s quality of life, providing all households with access to modern energy before they can afford to pay for it may be putting the horse before the cart.

published

Uganda, August 24, 2018