Uganda has taken on a $212, 669 concessional loan from the People’s Republic of China to accelerate the Rural Electrification Program.
Finance minister Matia Kasaija says the loan is enable the Ugandan government to fulfill its 2013-2022 rural electrification strategy. Under this program, the Ugandan government plans to increase access to power from 26% and to 51% by 2030.
“Many Ugandan still use tadoba as source of light and even the rampant deforestation that the country is experiencing is because people don’t have alternative source of energy” Kasaija argues.
Government intends to use the loan to construct 3,839 km of medium voltage network, construct 5,921km of low voltage network (electricity used at home) and install 3,403 distribution transfers.
“By the end of 3 years, we are sure that over 167,000 people shall have electricity in their houses, they will do the wiring in their homes and we do the connection free of charge,” adds Kasaija.
At the signing ceremony, the Chinese Ambassador to Uganda Zheng Zhu Qiang noted that Uganda needs to connect as much of its population to the electric grid to be able to develop faster.
The Chinese ambassador informed the minister, “China is willing to support Uganda to see that the country attains its sustainable development goals.”
Finance minister Kasaija dismissed worries that Uganda has slipped into significant debt to Uganda with assurances the country can repay the loan. Uganda currently owes Uganda 21 trillion shillings.
Kasaija said that he is more worried about the debt Uganda will incur to construct the standard gauge railway.