Uganda, Tanzania forge energy collaboration for mutual development

President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni on August 11, 2023 hosted a delegation from Tanzania at State House Entebbe, marking a significant step in strengthening bilateral ties and cooperation in the energy sector between the two nations.

During the meeting, President Museveni with the visiting delegates discussed future collaborations aimed at advancing the energy landscape in Uganda and Tanzania. Of particular importance was the energy partnership’s potential, with both countries expressing optimism about the forthcoming power line from Mutukula to Mwanza. This ambitious project is anticipated to play a pivotal role in the development trajectory of both nations.

Emphasizing the significance of regional energy collaboration, President Museveni wholeheartedly endorsed a proposal presented by the Tanzanian delegates. The proposal involved the development of a 20-megawatt solar generation plant in Nwoya district, situated near the Olwiyo substation in Northern Uganda. This visionary initiative is poised to eliminate electricity challenges in the region, ensuring enhanced energy access and sustainable development.

President Museveni’s support for the solar generation plant underscores Uganda’s commitment to harnessing renewable energy sources to power its progress. This move aligns with the nation’s broader efforts to transition towards cleaner and more environmentally friendly energy solutions.

The visiting Tanzanian delegates, including Mr. Abdul Halim Hafidah Ameir, Mr. Abdallah Khamis Khaliki, Mr. Michael Songore Raphael Mjinja, and Mr. George Nkya, demonstrated a shared dedication to fostering cross-border energy collaboration. Their presence signified the mutual resolve of both nations to leverage their collective resources for the greater good.

The Minister of Energy and Mineral Development, Hon. Ruth Nankabirwa Ssentamu, was also present at the meeting, highlighting the government’s unwavering commitment to driving energy advancements in Uganda.

In addition to the promising developments within Uganda and Tanzania’s energy landscape, the two nations are actively engaged in the exportation of electricity to neighboring countries. Uganda’s role as an electricity supplier to South Sudan and Rwanda further solidifies its position as a regional energy hub. This collaborative effort not only promotes regional stability and prosperity but also underscores the transformative potential of cross-border energy partnerships.

Uganda’s ability to export electricity to neighboring countries, including Kenya and parts of Tanzania and eastern DR Congo serves as a strategic contingency plan during domestic energy shortfalls. As Uganda continues to expand its energy infrastructure, the collaboration with South Sudan exemplifies a blueprint for fostering regional progress, cooperation, and mutual benefit.

Uganda energy exports to South Sudan enhancing regional cooperation

In a significant stride towards regional energy cooperation, the Ugandan government earlier this year officially inked an agreement to export electricity to South Sudan. The Power Sales Agreement (PSA), signed on June 27, 2023, represents a crucial step in bolstering cross-border collaboration and fostering socio-economic growth in both nations.

The accord outlines Uganda’s commitment to supplying 400 kilo-volts of power to several towns in South Sudan, including Kaya, Oraba, Elegu, and Nimule. This strategic initiative aims to invigorate socio-economic activities in the border areas, fostering local development and regional prosperity.

This milestone development is the culmination of a collaborative effort that began with a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed in December 2015. The agreement laid the groundwork for the joint development of transmission and distribution infrastructure, marking a testament to the commitment of both nations to enhance energy connectivity.

Central to the new collaboration is the prioritization of the 400 kilo-volt Olwiyo – Juba Power transmission Line, spanning 308km. This transmission line will play a pivotal role in facilitating the exchange of power between Uganda and South Sudan. The expansion and enhancement of key power substations, including Olwiyo and Bibia near Uganda’s Elegu border post, underscore the comprehensive nature of the energy partnership.

The Ugandan-South Sudan energy partnership extends beyond electricity exportation. Collaboration in the power distribution segment has already led to the construction of distribution networks in border towns such as Nimule and Kaya. This comprehensive approach underscores the intent to enhance regional productivity while bolstering security along the shared border.

South Sudan’s low electricity consumption per capita in Sub-Saharan Africa highlights the pressing need for increased access to power. Uganda’s robust energy generation capacity, which currently exceeds demand, positions it as a valuable partner in supporting its neighbours’ developmental aspirations.

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