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Uganda to Benefit from International Solar Alliance

Wednesday, 6th December 2017
Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, visits a solar panel project in India
Uganda is set to receive 1,500 demonstration solar water pumping systems for irrigation from International Solar Alliance (ISA). The International Solar Alliance is one of the practical off-shoots of COP21, the Global Climate Summit that was held in Paris, France in November, 2016. Narendra Modi, India's Prime Minister, is credited for having initiated the idea of a global solar alliance for countries which get 300 days of sunshine a year.

With its headquarters in New Delhi, the Alliance, which is set up to tap solar energy from the 121 countries lying in the tropics, has realised membership of 46 countries. With 46 countries having signed the ISA Cooperation Agreement and 19 having ratified it, ISA is now a legal entity. ISA holds monthly meetings in New Delhi to which the High Commission has designated Ms Margaret Kedisi, Minister Counsellor to safeguard and articulate Uganda's interests.

The main aim of the Alliance is to drastically reduce energy dependence on fossil and other carbon-emitting energy sources. Its focus is therefore to scale up rapid and massive solar energy availability and use in member countries in a coordinated manner. India, the host of the ISA Secretariat, has set aside two billion US dollars (US$2 billion), specifically for the realization of solar projects in Africa: out of its ten billion dollars (US$10 billion) line of credit to the Continent.

Uganda's interest in ISA is indicated by the fact that she has designated a focal point officer, Mr James Baanabe in the line ministry, which is the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development.

Uganda is participating in Scaling Solar Applications for Agricultural Use and Affordable Finance at Scale; two very important programmes of the International Solar Alliance. The country has not, however, signed the Agreement. The ISA Secretariat is optimistic that Uganda will sign the protocols before its Heads of State Summit in April, 2018.