Sidronious Okaasai Opolot, the Minister of State for Energy says GIS offers multi-layered solutions and plays a crucial role in identifying underserved rural areas that should be prioritized for energy expansion, aligning with the country’s goal of universal access by 2040 to alleviate poverty.
Officials of the Energy Sector GIZ Working Group at the 10th Utilities Geographical Information System conference at Hotel Africana. Photo by Dominic Ochola
The government has embraced
the Geographical Information System - GIS technology in the implementation of the Parish Development Model – PDM.
Yoweri Kaguta Museveni launched the PDM in February 2022, as an
ambitious development strategy under the Third
National Development Plan - NDP III to deepen the decentralization process to uplift
the incomes of 39 percent of Ugandan households still reliant on subsistence farming.
Since 2011, the Energy Sector
GIS Working Group under the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development agreed
and established a common utility geo-data-driven approach to identify optimal
locations for renewable energy projects, ranging from solar farms to wind
Sidronious Okaasai Opolot,
the Minister of State for Energy says GIS offers multi-layered solutions and plays
a crucial role in identifying underserved rural areas that should be
prioritized for energy expansion, aligning with the country’s goal of universal
access by 2040 to alleviate poverty.
Okaasai told energy
sector players at the 10th Utilities Geographical Information System
conference at Hotel Africana on Thursday that the Energy Policy for Uganda 2023
which was launched early this month places high importance on energy security,
and diversification to reduce dependency on volatile international markets.
underscored the critical role of GIS technology, as a backbone in monitoring
and implementing Uganda's energy transition plans through data-driven decisions
to ensure equitable and adequate energy access for all citizens.
“GIS technology can map
out our abundant natural resources, such as hydro, solar, oil and gas, and
geothermal, offering a robust framework for achieving true energy sovereignty. A
vital pillar of the PDM is our comprehensive Energy Policy, specifically
crafted to ignite innovation and entrepreneurship at the community level,” said
In his statement which
was read by Eng. Cecilia Menya, the Commissioner of Electrical Power at the
Ministry of Energy, Okaasai, observed that GIS technology can help the country identify
optimal locations for renewable energy projects and stimulate local economies
through job creation.
Ahamize, a Senior GIS Officer in the Ministry of Energy explained that the
strategic incorporation of GIS into our Energy Policy, as part of the PDM, aims
to harmonize economic growth as a balanced approach to propels Uganda toward a
prosperous and sustainable future.
Richard Muhangi, another GIS Specialist observed that the
features of GIS can help Uganda assess environmental impacts and assist in
conservation efforts, thereby reducing our carbon footprint to achieve equitably
sustainable, clean, and renewable energy.
The experts reason that GIS
is a formidable asset in planning interconnected energy grids, optimizing
resource-sharing, and sequencing investments. The Technology is also expected
to help increase electricity generation capacity to a projected 52,481 MW by
Ochola's journalism career begun from Radio King 90.2 FM in Gulu around 2009, and Radio Rupiny 95.7 Fm under Vision Group in 2012. He also reported for Mighty Fire 91.5 Fm, Kitgum in 2015 before joining Wizarts Foundation in 2017.
He has been reporting for Uganda Radio Network (URN) since 2017 before being posted as Bureau Chief Kitgum, and later Gulu between 2018 - 2021. Currently, he reports from Parliament.