President Museveni has applauded China for being reliable partners for not only Uganda but Africa at large in terms of development.
Museveni made the remarks on Thursday during the commissioning of Isimba hydro power project constructed by China International Water and Electric Corporation (CWE) in Kayunga district along River Nile.
“The government and people of China are reliable partners to the people of Uganda and Africa at large. It is not only at Isimba but have helped us on other development projects like Karuma, Entebbe Expressway and the airport,”Museveni said.
A number of infrastructural development projects in a number of Sub-Saharan countries have in the recent years become closely connected to China.
The story is no different in Uganda where China has bankrolled the largest projects with soft loans and Chinese companies handle the construction.
Museveni said government will continue working with Chinese companies on a number of other infrastructural projects like the Standard Gauge Railway and other hydro power projects including Ayago(Nwoya district), Uhuru and Kiba around the country.
According to Museveni, when his government took power in 1986, they embarked on recovery of the economy through security, education, health and roads.
He noted that one can now move from the South Sudan border to the Rwandan, Kenyan and Tanzanian borders on tarmac.
“From there we have been able to tackle electricity. We are now left with construction of the Standard Gauge Railway and rehabilitation of the old railway line and this will see the cost of transporting our goods reduce by 60%,”Museveni noted.
“They say good things come to those who work hard and are patient. Here we are. These projects are for us all but you(locals) should now focus on improving your incomes.”
According to energy ministry and Uganda Electricity General Company Limited officials, the new hydro power project will add 183 megawatts to the national grid to raise it to 1000 and this will partly lead to a reduction in the cost of electricity.
“After the construction of 25 industrial parks that will consume the electricity produced, the price will greatly go down. The cost of electricity will go down to $5 cents per unit in the first 15 years and will lower down to $1.01 cents per unit in the next 23 years,” Energy Minister Irene Muloni said in an interview with the Nile Post.
Currently, electricity from Bujagali costs $8 cents per unit.
With a number of hydro power dams in place, it will attract a number of industries because of the cheap electricity and it turn goods will be produced cheaply.
Meanwhile, government is also undertaking other infrastructural projects including roads and the Standard Gauge Railway among others that are expected to spur Uganda’s development.
The Isimba hydro power project cost $567.7million (Shs2.1 trillion) funded both by Exim bank of China(85%) and the Ugandan government(15%).