BOSCO participates in Rural Electrification Workshop
BOSCO’s CE3 Program Manager Tonny Okwonga recently participated in a workshop highlighting off-grid electrification in Northern Uganda. The workshop, Towards universal energy access: Uganda, organized by the United Nations Foundation (UNF) and World Wide Fund for Nature-Uganda Country Office (WWF UCO) was held on July 22nd 2014. The workshop was aimed at highlighting the progress of the private sector actors in bringing off –grid electrification solutions to Rural Uganda and mechanisms to leverage private capital that can bring decentralized energy solutions to scale. The workshop drew participants from all over the world: civil society organizations (CSOs), private sector, and government agencies.
The stake holders shared their practical experiences, challenges and lessons learned in the provision/servicing the energy needs of the approximately 29 million people who currently lack access to electricity in Uganda. From the Press release: Energy solutions provided by members of the Network help electrify hospitals in hard-to-reach rural areas, improving maternal mortality outcomes; light up schools and improve educational outcomes for children; light up opportunity through clean reliable energy for households and communities; and – together – help make the difference in countries like Uganda in the effort to reach the goal of “Sustainable Energy for All.” In partnership with the Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development (NDIGD) and Uganda-based Educate!, BOSCO-Uganda is a strategic and implementing partner for the Accenture-sponsored CE3 project, which has electrification-and-entrepreneurship pilots at the sub-county headquarters in Pabbo, at Saint Mary’s College in Lacor, and at King James Comprehensive School in Lira. Among the uses for electricity provided at these sites are ICT labs; entrepreneurial efforts such as grinding mills, electronic repair shops and lighting for small businesses to remain open longer; and lighting and water pumping for schools. Computer-based training in ICT, mentored entrepreneurship, and renewable energy is offered at each of these pilot sites toward the promotion of an integrated economic ecosystem. Revenue from electricity users at each site is recaptured and held bank accounts jointly administered by BOSCO-Uganda and each community partner, with proceeds remaining in the community for future expansion and sustainable replacement of equipment. Energy use is monitored remotely to explore useage patterns and new opportunities for efficient use.