Paidha, Uganda, 14 September 2012 – His Excellency President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni today inaugurated the 3.5MW Nyagak I hydropower station in Paidha, Zombo District. The occasion officially marked the onset of 24hour electricity supply for the people of the West Nile sub-region.
Developed by the West Nile Rural Electrification Company Ltd. (WENRECo) with the financial support of the World Bank and the German Government through its development bank, KfW, the Nyagak I hydropower plant will be the principal source of power generation, substantially replacing thermal generation.
WENRECo, a subsidiary of Industrial Promotion Services (IPS), was awarded a 20 year licence to generate and provide electricity in the West Nile region in April 2003. IPS is the infrastructure and industrial development arm of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development, an agency of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN).
Mr. Mahmood Ahmed, AKDN Resident Representative in Uganda observed, “This is the result of close collaboration of development partners to overcome the challenges of providing clean, reliable and affordable electricity to rural populations” and looked forward to increased access to electricity supply through rural electrification.
WENRECo will therefore now, and in the immediate future, focus on increasing and extending access while improving the reliability of the grid.
“We expect that increased access to electricity will not only accelerate the economic growth of the West Nile region, but will also improve quality of life for the people in the region by providing light for students to study by; refrigeration for vaccinations, access to clean water and new prospects for businesses and job creation”. Said Mr. Nizar Juma, the Chairman of IPS.
The German Government’s KfW Bank through the Government of Uganda has financed about US$ 12 million towards the completion of Nyagak I. Mr. Duve, Director of KfW Development Bank clarified: “KfW’s support for the West Nile Energy Sector does not end with inauguration of Nyagak I. Indeed, KfW is supporting the extension of the distribution system to Maracha, Koboko, Oraba, Pakwach, Yumbe and beyond with EU co-financing and has committed funding that will enable WENRECO switch to pre-paid metering system through provision of 6000 prepaid metres and related infrastructure. Additionally the German Government through KfW is supporting the construction of the 4.4MW Nyagak III which will ensure that the increasing West Niles electricity demand is met reliably and from a clean source.”
The West Nile Rural Electrification project was the first African project to qualify for carbon financing under the World Bank’s Prototype Carbon Fund. Observing that the German Government has committed about US$40m for the energy sector in West Nile the Charge d’Affaires of the German Embassy in Uganda, Mr. Joachim Düster further commented: “Today, we can all be proud that thanks to the joint efforts by the Government of Uganda, the Government of Germany through KfW, and the Aga Khan Development Network through IPS and WENRECO, the people and businesses along the transmission lines in West Nile have electricity”.
WENRECo is a special purpose company owned by the Industrial Promotion Services.
IPS is the infrastructure and industrial development arm of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development (AKFED). IPS has operations in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Mozambique and DR Congo and is also actively pursuing investment opportunities in Burundi, Rwanda, and Madagascar. Outside the East and Central Africa region, IPS also operates in Cote d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Mali and Senegal, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan and Canada.
AKFED is an international development agency dedicated to promoting entrepreneurship and building economically sound enterprises in the developing world. AKFED focuses on building enterprises in parts of the world that lack sufficient foreign direct investment. It also makes bold but calculated investments in situations that are fragile and complex. AKFED is in turn part of the Aga Khan Development Network, a group of development agencies with mandates that include the environment, health, education, architecture, culture, microfinance, rural development, disaster reduction, the promotion of private-sector enterprise and the revitalisation of historic cities.
KfW Development Bank is Germany's leading development bank. On behalf of the German Government, KfW carries out Financial Cooperation (FC) in the framework of German bilateral cooperation. FC contributes to reducing poverty and to ensuring that globalization affords opportunities for everyone, to protecting the climate and conserving natural resources and to safeguarding peace. With 650 employees, of which about 190 are specialists in local offices, KfW cooperates with partners all over the world.
In Uganda, KfW supports the use of renewable energies and programmes for raising energy efficiency. Hereby, a special focus has been placed on West Nile, where KfW is investing on behalf of the German Government more than EUR 28 millions (Ush 84 billion). in energy generation and distribution infrastructure as well as household connections.
KfW also promotes programmes and projects in water supply and sanitation and the development of viable financial systems. With these programmes and projects, KfW contributes on behalf of the German Government to the sustainable improvement of living conditions of the population in Uganda and to environmental and climate protection.