Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Uganda woos entrepreneurs to invest in energy sector

Ugandan businesspeople have been urged to invest in mini-hydro power projects to encourage the establishment of cottage industries across the country.

Hillary Onek, the Mineral and Energy minister of Uganda said investing in mini-hydro electricity projects across the country would lead to the establishment of firms which would employ thousand of youths who have taken to migrating to urban areas in search for a better life and jobs.

“Most of the youths are flocking towns because of lack of electricity in the rural areas where cottage industries can be set up,” Engineer Onek said at the launch of a new high-tech national electivity grid monitoring system by electricity distribution company UMEME in Kampala on 22 September 2009. “Right now we are only serving the privileged in Kampala and a few other towns. We are not serving the rural side adequately and not allowing them to have those cottage industries,” he said.

“Instead of leaving this sector to our international friends, put your money together and add some small loan to it and invest. We will guarantee the small loans,” he told guests at the event.

Uganda currently has insufficient and an erratic power supply which has been aggravated by the dependency on expensive thermal power which generated from heavy diesel generators.