More than Shs10.3b disbursed through the Uganda Energy Credit Capitalisation Company (UECCC) in credit financing has accelerated access to electricity in the country. Access to electricity in Uganda currently stands at slightly over 50 per cent with 25 per cent connected to the grid. Formed in 2009, UECCC was created to facilitate renewable energy (RE) development through the provision of financial, technical and other support to address financing barriers inhibiting re-development, with particular focus on enabling private sector participation.
This was after government adopted the Power Sector Restructuring and Privatisation Strategy (PSRPS) to reform the power sector in 1999, with the view of attracting investment into the power sector, both in generation and distribution, to underpin economic growth in Uganda. However, private sector participation in the power sector was hampered by a number of barriers to investment, including lack of appropriate financing (long term debt and concessional financing) in the local market to meet the financing requirements of renewable energy projects and programmes.
In addition, there was inadequate technical capacity on the part of local financial institutions to finance energy projects and lack of early stage financing and technical assistance to unlock energy generation and distribution projects. UECCC was to implement its mandate through serving as a credit support institution, working with various partners, including financial institutions and development partners, among others, to provide innovative financing options for renewable energy and/or rural electrification projects on business principles.
UECCC, working with different financial institutions, facilitates lending to energy projects and programmes through the solar loan project, solar company working facility and the power connection loan programme. In conclusion, as an investor, entrepreneur or household, it is important to consider the aforementioned programmes which are priority funding areas for UECCC in the journey of increasing access to electricity
By Specioza Kimera Ndagire