EEG Energy Insight: Scaling up Rural Electrification in Uganda: Innovative Technical and Financial Solutions Being Explored to Address Access Challenges
Uganda, which has one of the most liberalised electricity sectors in Africa, offers a useful lens for examining the effect of power sector reform on social objectives, including energy access. Liberalisation was supposed to yield a better-managed power sector – but, while the country’s electricity sector has performed better financially than its neighbours, the electrification rate has lagged. New customer connections have mainly been concentrated in urban areas and trading centres and have not prioritised the poor in peri-urban and rural areas.
However, there has been a recent step change in electrification in Uganda, spurred by the REA’s partnership with Uganda’s largest private distribution utility, Umeme Ltd. This paper documents some of the key policy, institutional, technical, procurement, and financing initiatives being adopted by Umeme to fast-track rural electrification and access in Uganda.