President Yoweri Museveni has said that the Government of Uganda is keen in developing the infrastructure in the country, especially electricity supply.
“We are interested in infrastructure development especially the expansion of electricity distribution. The Government has the policy of private sector led growth. We must have a low cost of doing business. Since we have got no railway service, it has led to high transport cost. We look forward to the Fund (CDC) enabling us to address these challenges,” he said.
The President made the remarks at State House, Entebbe when he received and held a meeting with a visiting Commonwealth Development Corporation (CDC) Investment Works delegation, led by the Chief Executive, Mr. Nick O’Donohoe. The British High Commissioner to Uganda, Mr. Peter West, accompanied the delegation. CDC is the United Kingdom’s development finance institution that supports the building of businesses throughout Africa and South Asia.
President Museveni told his guests that the current goal is to promote transport, low cost finance and electricity distribution with emphasis on reducing the cost of electricity particularly for industries. He said that the Government of Uganda would like to work for the reduction of long term lending rates on loans of commercial banks from the current 20% to between 11% and 12%. He observed that high interest rates only benefit traders not farmers and industrialists.
Mr. Museveni also informed his visitors of the Government’s commitment to building the railway network and waterways. He urged CDC to look into lowering of telecommunications services’ costs in partnership with government, using reliable marine and underground cables that cost less compared to satellite services. He noted that the important aspect of the economy is ensuring low cost of finance, rail transport and cheap electricity. He emphasised that the cost of electricity must be low especially for the industries. He encouraged the CDC delegation to participate adding value to Uganda’s agro-products.
CDC’s Chief Executive, Mr. Nick O’Donohoe, revealed that his organization has earmarked US$3.5 billion to be invested in Sub-Sahara Africa in the next 3 years adding that they are already engaged in the production of tea, sugar, finance and infrastructure development. He also indicated that CDC is interested in the sectors of manufacturing, health, education and affordable housing.
He assured the President of the CDC’s readiness to provide long-term capital towards provision of affordable electricity.