President Yoweri Museveni has hailed former Tanzania President John Pombe Magufuli for his expeditious effort in the construction of the Kikagati power station in Isingiro district.
“We started on this project in 2005 and nothing could move until 2018 when President Magufuli came in and authorized the start of this project. When President Samia came into power she also went along with it. Tunashukuru sana” Museveni highlighted.
According to Museveni, it’s high time the political and bureaucratic classes in Africa wake up and work on the demands of the people because they do have the potential but they seem not to realize it.
Museveni made these remarks while commissioning the Kikagati hydropower project together with his Tanzania counterpart H.E Samia Suluhu Hassan on Thursday.
Upon completion, this power station which is a mini hydropower plant will be able to generate over 10mega watts of electricity that will be shared by the 2 states.
The fountain of honor also expressed his dissatisfaction with the cost of electricity per unit noting that it doesn’t favor manufacturers yet the resources are located right here.
“The price of 8.5 cents per unit is not a Christian idea, we need cheap electricity, especially for manufacturing, there is no way we can have expensive electricity and then we get out of poverty. The issue I want to advise the developers and their financers is to study this” Museveni asserted.
In her remarks, the President of the United Republic of Tanzania, H.E Suluhu thanked President Museveni for the invitation to commission a power plant that will immensely strengthen the historic and fraternal relations between the two countries that continue to improve day by day.
“Frankly speaking, I applaud your vision to inaugurate this project and see to it that it is accomplished. I have had a chance to visit the project and it is really well done. Congratulations and thank you so much,” H.E Suluhu said, adding that the power plant will improve a lot of things including; trading and investment, transportation of people and goods, social services, clean and safe
water and education.
“The power is going to improve security in our area because it is going to bridge the inequality and the communication gap between the urban and rural settings,” President Suluhu noted.
The ceremony was also addressed by the Ministers of Energy of both countries; Ruth Nankabirwa of Uganda and Mr. January Makamba of Tanzania. They hailed the two Presidents for their good leadership in ensuring that the project is completed successfully. They pledged to ensure that even other projects like the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP), Masaka Mwanza transmission line, and a gas pipeline project among others are completed successfully.
“We know that they’re important to you, our countries, and our people,” Minister January Makamba said.
The project received support from several multi-laterals, including the Africa Renewable Energy Fund (AREF); a $205 million fund managed by Berkeley Energy, and all the loans will be repaid over 16 years, starting from the date of commissioning.
Being a cross-border project, the initiative fits with the East African Community Vision 2050 and Article 101 of the Treaty for the Establishment of the East African Community under which the Partner States agreed, among others, to cooperate in the exploitation of renewable energy resources to supply affordable energy to their people.
The ceremony was attended by officials from the Ministries of the two countries, Security officials, and the leadership of Isingiro district.