The Uganda Manufacturers Association (UMA) has signed a partnership with Cities and Infrastructure Growth Uganda (CIG), a UKAID funded program, to improve on quality and reliability of power used in the production sector.
Addressing press at UMA grounds after the signing, Mubaraka Nkuutu who represented the Executive Director (UMA) said cutting power tariffs alone is not enough to reduce on production costs and competitiveness. He said, power must not only be cheap, but also reliable.
“Although the production of Hydro Electricity power has increased in the country, we still lack a reliable source of energy since power is always on and off. Most manufacturers have acquired standby generators which end up increasing the cost of production,” he said.
Nkuutu added that manufacturers currently can’t double their production to utilize all the produced electricity as suggested by the government because the market has greatly reduced.
“Most investors who opened up industries here were targeting all countries in the region but all of you know what happened to our goods being exported to countries like Rwanda, DRC, South Sudan and Kenya of recently, ” he said
Through this four-year partnership, CIG will support UMA to explore how locally manufactured electrical materials can be increased as one of the approach to increase the competitiveness in the sector.
On her part, Ms Hellena Mc Leod from CIG said through this partnership they are going to join hands with all stake holders to resolve power problems in the sector.
“Once money spent on electricity is saved, it can be invested for development in other sectors and thus create more jobs.”
Erastmus Kibugu one of those who conducted research about the effect of unstable power to manufacturers in the country revealed that their study proved that interrupted electricity supply affects mostly food processing industries as well as Steel and Iron production.