“Whoa! Kagame and Museveni strike up deal to share electricity and tackle dire power deficit in the region!”
In a stunning development, Kagame and Museveni have come to an agreement to share electricity and combat the acute power shortage in the region. The anticipated power exchange between the two nations will skyrocket from a lowly 2MW to a whopping 200MW upon completion of the project. The larger objective is to bolster the Eastern African Power Pool, opening the door for future connections across various power systems in the area.
The ambitious initiative has hit a bit of a snag, as the commissioning of the Uganda-Rwanda line hinges on the successful installation of communication boosters on the Rwandan side. The technical director of Uganda’s Electricity Regulatory Authority, Richard Okou, explained that both parties are eagerly awaiting the construction of suitable electrical equipment and connectivity for communication.
Due to the limited power distribution networks in both nations, the power exchanges have been taking place at the Cyanika border since 1995, which serves Gatuna and Kisoro in Uganda. However, the 220/110kV Shango substation, located on the Rwandan side, is a critical facility for connecting the electricity grids of Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. It was brought online in 2019.
Uganda’s efforts to export its electricity have encountered several obstacles, primarily due to the lack of high-voltage overhead transmission lines in neighboring nations. Despite the challenges, these initiatives will be part of the larger Eastern African Power Pool, a harbinger of upcoming connections across various power systems. According to a 2021 EAPP estimate, several nations are struggling to meet a reserve margin of 15% of power supply purely from domestic generation, while others have a surplus with inequitable distribution.
To export electricity, Uganda is looking to connect its grid to neighboring nations such as Tanzania at Mutukula, South Sudan at Nimule, the Democratic Republic of the Congo at Mpondwe, and Kenya at Malaba. With the completion of the appropriate infrastructure, Uganda hopes to become a reliable electricity exporter to DR Congo, South Sudan, and Kenya.
In conclusion, this agreement between Kagame and Museveni to share electricity and bolster the power shortage in the region is an exciting development. It is a huge step forward in enhancing the Eastern African Power Pool and opening the door for upcoming connections across different power systems.