World Bank to Boost Energy Sector

The World Bank has approved $120m to improve electricity supply to the South Western region in Uganda by 2025.

The five year project will benefit residential, public, commercial and industrial electricity customers who are currently served by the existing transmission line.

A statement issued in Kampala by the bank’s senior communications specialist Steven Shalita recetly said the project will also benefit new customers in the region.

“Among the key beneficiaries of the new project will be over 50,000 people living in the peri-urban areas along the transmission line route, including those who could not get connected because of high connection costs and compensation to those who will be displaced because of the transmission line construction,” said Somin Mukherji, Task Team Leader for the operation.

Mukherji said the project involves construction of 137 km of the 220 kV Kawanda-Masaka transmission line and related substation construction and upgrades and resettlement of displaced persons. It also involves technical assistance in support of project implementation, transmission system development and capacity building of Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Limited, and community support projects in areas affected by construction of the transmission line, and capacity building at Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development

Meanwhile the bank has also approved $50m policy loan for Uganda to help build a more efficient and deeper financial sector which can support broad-based private sector growth.

The goal is that by the end of this two-loan program, the country will have a regulated pension sector, an expanded housing finance market and efficient national payment system.

Mr. Shalita said the new loan will support reforms aimed at promoting financial inclusion; promoting small and medium enterprises access to finance; fostering the development of term finance market; strengthening financial sector regulations and supervision, including for pension schemes; and strengthening consumer protection.

“The loan will support Government’s financial sector reform program which aims at fostering financial intermediation and savings mobilization in support of higher and more diversified economic growth and increased poverty reduction,” said Javier Suarez, the bank’s senior economist.

The first pillar of the program will concentrate on supporting the development of a market for financing including pension system reform, specifically supporting the emergence of a regulated, competitive and sustainable pension industry catering to both mandatory and voluntary pension savings.