The 1st National Round Table Forum on “Energy in Uganda” was held on June 30th at Makerere University in Kampala, in the framework of the ACP S&T project ENRICH & the Edulink project SUCCEED Network. The event was jointly organized by Makerere University and the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology.
The aim of the event was to bring together the main stakeholders in the field of energy in Uganda (including higher management and researchers from Higher Education Institutions, research & project managers, policy makers, managers from energy industries, experts) to exchange ideas and discuss energy issues at a national level in Uganda.
The specific objectives of the National Round Table were to:
- Discuss problems and issues in the field of Energy affecting National Stakeholders, with the idea of identifying where the Higher Education System could contribute with specific services/input.
- Enhance awareness of the real needs of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) related to energy access and efficiency in Uganda.
- Encourage dialogue and strengthen co-operation links in the energy sector at national level among academia, researchers, industries and policy makers.
- Present the ENRICH & Succeed Network projects and their developments.
The National Round Table brought together several relevant stakeholders in the field of Energy in Uganda, including representatives from various colleges in Makerere University and its Planning and Development Department, from the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development, from the Private Sector and from the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology.
The conclusions reached at the end of this event made not of the difficulty in developing the renewable energy sector due to the proliferation of counterfeit products on the market. As a result it is important to sensitise and protect the communities who are the victims of these counterfeit products. Additionally, a big proportion of the population depends on biomass which is regulated by the Ministry of Water and Environment yet renewable energy development lies with the mandate of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development. This means that policies are handled at different paces and with varying motivations and points of view. Finally the alternative energy options for Uganda are generally more expensive than biomass energy making it difficult for the communities to embrace them.
This roundtable forum addressed a number of issues that hinder partnerships. These include lack of coordination, insufficient information sharing, incompetence, structural issues, bureaucracies, duplication, inadequate information, and infrastructure, as well as little appreciation for local actors who try to promote best practises.
The key recommendations to address these issues are:
- Coordination/collaboration between stakeholders: should be improved, strengthened and formalised by defining clear roles, expectations and guidelines for efficient outputs.
- Networking: should be promoted between stakeholders in the energy sector and strengthened.
- Renewable Energy Research: HEIs should embrace the cause renewable energy and promote it through best practises in energy efficiency and access. The energy demands of Uganda should be ascertained and strategies made to meet them for sustainability before energy export is considered.
- Community engagement and national awareness: sensitization should be promoted through workshops, seminars, reports and books and to yield positive results.
- Disseminate renewable energy research information to the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development and communities to promote uptake of new technologies.
- Reduce red tape policies and practices to ensure that investors are not discouraged.
- Promote collaboration in the energy sector, right from production, to generation and distribution, to marketing and down to the consumer.
- Strengthen Science Technology and innovation by building capacity, learning together and involvement of local artisans in technology adaptation
The full Report of the 1st Uganda National Round Table on Energy is available from our Resources page.