Norway- Africa Summit Roots for Cheaper Energy

Civil Society Organizations yesterday petitioned Parliament seeking its urgent intervention to halt the proposed export of medical workers.

35 CSOs including the Uganda Nurses and Midwives Association asked Parliament to institute a probe into circumstances under which government plans to export 263 highly qualified health workers to Trinidad and Tobago.

In the petition presented to Speaker of Parliament at her chambers on Wednesday, stuff April 8 2015, drugs the petitioners warned of huge loss of lives of patients once the few available health workers are exported.

“Uganda is suffering from an acute shortage of health workers which has contributed to the high rate of maternal mortality. The deployment of health workers abroad will irreparably damage the public health sector and lead to loss of thousands of vulnerable patients, see ” Justinian Muhwezi Kateera of the Institute of Public Policy Research told the Speaker of Parliament.

Government though the Ministry of Foreign Affairs recently came out and defended the export of medics, saying it was part of its responsibilities to seek jobs for its citizens, in foreign countries.

The petitioners want government to halt the export of health workers but also recruit 2400 additional health workers in the next financial year. They also proposed a package of nonfinancial incentives that government can provide to improve retention of health workers.

Sr.Janet Obuni the Chairperson of the Uganda Nurses and Midwives Association in her submission reaffirmed the need for Uganda Government to remunerate and improve the conditions of the health workers especially the midwives who provide the backbone to maternal health.

“The export of midwives has an effect of withdrawing maternal health services from over 900,000 mothers. Government should train and improve the conditions of health workers, and lift the embargo on recruitment,” she added.


Speaker Kadaga expressed reservations on the export of health workers and urged government to present its position on the floor of Parliament.

“As a country we have failed to achieve Millennium Development goals Four and Five (Reduce Child Mortality and Improve maternal health).How can we then help another country when the Health Service Commission is complaining over shortage of midwives? Government must explain what is happening,” Rt.Hon Kadaga noted.

The Speaker proposed that government could think of exporting some of the retired doctors and nurses who have left active service.

Mityana district MP Namabidde Ssinnabulya reaffirmed the need to retain the highly skilled medical personnel because they are critical to the country’s health sector.
African Ministers of Energy from Ghana and Zambia are amongst the attendees who graced Norway – Africa Energy Summit organized by Norfund and the Norwegian-African Business Association (NABA).

The African Ministers of Energy, information pills alongside energy companies, pharm investors and researchers, medical highlighted the current status on energy in Africa.

They underlined the necessity of putting in place a robust energy system, which will ensure electricity for the population and serving both the public and the private sector.

Sub-Saharan Africa is rich in terms of energy resources, but lags behind in terms of energy supply. According to figures from the International Energy Agency (IEA), only 290 million of Sub-Saharan Africa’s population of 915 million currently has access to electricity.

Not enough investments are being made in developing viable energy systems, and the population growth is a contributing factor to the increase of people without access to electricity.

In order to create growth and lift people out of poverty, it is essential to have access to stable electricity. Few from the Western world have taken into account the size of the challenge when developing the energy systems in poor countries.

In energy aid, it is easier to have a focused effort on simple and immediate measures which will provide temporary and second-class solutions for the poor, than to focus the efforts towards the core task: To develop good energy systems that supply the population, both public and private sectors, with stable electricity in sufficient quantities.

“It is therefore an urgent need in Sub-Saharan Africa for long-term capital investment in infrastructure. There is also a need for dedicated apparatus that help reduce the risks associated with the long investment horizon in energy developments,” says Kjell Roland, Managing Director of Norfund.

Nearly 80 per cent of all proposed energy projects are abandoned at an early stage due to a magnitude of reasons.

“It is almost only investors like Norfund with a development mandate, which are willing to invest in early phases of projects. Amongst the private investors, KLP are among the few who also invests in energy for development,” adds Roland.

The conference was held at Latter in Aker Brygge in Oslo, Norway.

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