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Malawi Benchmarks Uganda’s Rural Electrification Programme :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Malawi Benchmarks Uganda’s Rural Electrification Programme

The nine-member delegation led by the Acting Director of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining in Malawi Joseph Kalowekamo, arrived on Monday for a week-long study tour, hosted by Uganda's Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development.
18 Mar 2022 07:47
Malawian Government officials at the Electricity Regulation Authority - ERA in Kampala. Photo by URN_ Dominic Ochola

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Officials from the Government of Malawi are in Uganda to benchmark the country’s Rural Electrification Programme to enable them to replicate best practices back home.

The nine-member delegation led by the Acting Director of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining in Malawi Joseph Kalowekamo, arrived on Monday for a week-long study tour, hosted by Uganda's Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development.

Kalowekamo said their government is in the process of establishing a semi-autonomous Rural Electrification Agency (REA) under the Malawi Rural Electrification Programme to increase access to electricity in rural regions to spur socio-economic transformation.

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Mary Navicha, an MP from the Legislative Assembly of Malawi says that only 42 per cent of the 18 million citizens back home are connected to the electricity grid especially in urban areas while only 4 percent in rural regions have access to electricity.

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The visiting team were officially welcomed at the Ministry of Energy in Kampala by the Minister of State for Energy and Mineral DevelopmentPeter Lokeris, and later visited the Electricity Regulatory Authority, a government agency that regulates, licenses, and supervises the generation, transmission, distribution, sale, export, and importation of electrical energy in Uganda.

ERA Chief Executive Officer Eng. Ziria Tibalwa Waako tipped the visiting team on deliberate regulatory framework, innovations, favourable electricity connection policy, grid intensification, self-help projects for consumers among others. Ziria also highlighted that the rural electrification programme targets a population whose income levels are below the average income earner, and requires resilient Government strategies for future sustainability.

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The team later visited rural electrification programme project sites in Buwama Sub-County in Mpigi and Mukono districts. They will conclude their study tour with a visit to Bujjagali hydroelectric power station in Jinja.

For the past 20 years since the implementation of the Energy Sector Reforms, the Electricity Supply Industry has experienced unprecedented growth. The Electricity Regulatory Index released in 2018, 2019 and 2020 by the African Development Bank ranked Uganda’s electricity regulatory framework the best on the African continent.

Uganda prides in 60.8 Megawatts from grid-connected solar energy. According to ERA, from 2001 to date, a total of 41 generation plants have been commissioned, including the 183 MW Isimba Plant, which has increased the country's installed generation capacity to 1,268.9MW and serving 1,655,042 consumers across a grid length of 3,222 kilometres.