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Earth Finds

IRENA To Discuss Renewable Energy At UN Meet

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) will highlight the central contribution renewables make to sustainable development and the substantial, cross-sectoral socioeconomic benefits of energy transformation during the United Nations High-Level Political Forum (HLPF) on Sustainable Development. The meeting will take place at UN headquarters New York from July 9-18.

Under the theme ‘Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies’, the meeting will review the implementation of a number of Sustainable Development Goals, including SDG 7 – access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy. 

IRENA will underscore the importance of accelerating renewable energy deployment to realize SDG 7 as well as a number of other key goals, including health (SDG 3), jobs and economic growth (SDG 8), sustainable cities (SDG 11) and climate action (SDG 13) among others. 

“Renewables are transforming the global energy system at rapid pace moving us towards a new age of energy,” said Mr. Adnan Z. Amin, Director-General of the International Renewable Energy Agency, who will moderate the official SDG 7 review session during the HLPF on 10th July. 

“This shift promises to not only support our long-term climate objectives but it also contributions to the realisation of a number of other key development goals.” 

IRENA’s 2050 analysis finds that renewable energy and energy efficiency combined could achieve 90 per cent of the energy-related emission reductions needed to achieve the well-below 2°C target of the Paris Climate Agreement. 

Accelerated renewables deployment could also boost global GDP by 1 per cent and welfare by 15 per cent compared to business-as-usual, and by 2050 renewables could account for nearly 29 million jobs, up from 10.3 million today. A significant proportion of these benefits are achievable by 2030.

“Renewable energy is supporting economic growth, creating jobs and improving health and welfare in addition mitigating climate change and delivering energy access,” continued Mr. Amin. “The energy transformation’s multifaceted benefits can be realised if we put renewables at the heart of global efforts to achieve the SDGs and we accelerate the speed of their adoption.”

Globally, more than one billion people today still live without access to electricity – a challenge that off-grid renewable energy technology is helping address. Since 2008, off-grid renewable energy capacity has witnessed a spectacular three-fold increase from under 2 GW to over 6.5 GW in 2017. Currently, up to 133 million people are estimated to be served by off-grid renewables. 

Capturing these trends, IRENA will launch a consolidated renewable energy off-grid report entitled ‘Off-grid Renewable Energy for Electricity Access: Status and Trends’. The report will deliver a comprehensive picture of off-grid renewable energy technologies and adoption, harmonizing national and regional level data from around the world.

Aiteo Best Indigenous Oil Company In Nigeria

The Aiteo group was declared Indigenous Oil and Gas Company of the Year at the Nigerian Oil and Gas (NOG) Awards, on July 4, 2018 at the International Conference Centre (ICC), Abuja. The gala rounds off the Nigeria Oil and Gas Conference and Exhibitions, holding from July 2 to July 5, 2018. 

Organised by London-based CWC Group and now in its 18th edition, the NOG is Nigeria's most prestigious annual oil and gas industry event which draws key players across the Nigerian Energy sector.

It is a viable platform for networking, sharing ideas, and exploring new opportunities and innovations in the industry. This year, hundreds of industry professionals were gathered from both the public and private sectors.

Dignitaries at the conference included the Secretary-General of OPEC; Dr Sanusi Barkindo, Nigeria's Honourable Minister of State for Petroleum Resources; Dr Ibe Kachikwu, Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, Dr Maikantu Baru, and Chief Executives of major oil and gas companies operating in Nigeria. 

Responding to the award, Aiteo's CEO and Executive Vice Chairman, Benedict Peters, attributes the company's emergence as the indigenous oil and gas company of the year to the depth of its human resources, and sustainable investments in the industry, and the Nigerian economy.

In the CSR arena, Aiteo gives back to the local communities in which it operates through grants and donations, seed capital and philanthropy. It has also supported several social investment projects, including special focus on supporting the study of Engineering in host communities and sports. 

In sports, Aiteo has become the foremost financier of football in the country after a string of contributions to the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) and the Super Eagles. To support local football, Aiteo took over the sponsorship of the Federation Cup, Nigeria's oldest football tournament, now renamed Aiteo Cup. On the continental stage, Aiteo partnered with the Confederation of African Football(CAF) to sponsor the African Football Awards in January this year.

High Fuel Prices: Albertine Region Hike Transport Fares

By George Businge

Transport operators in Hoima tax and bus parks have increased transport charges due the increasing fuel prices, leaving already burdened consumers to pick the bills. On Monday most fuel stations had already increased pump prices for petrol and diesel by at least Shs110.

Currently a litre of petrol is sold at Shs4,230 while diesel is going for an average of Shs 3,940. Government recently imposed Shs100 Excise Duty on diesel and petrol in a frantic attempt to raise what it described as funds for road maintenance.

Speaking to Earthfinds, James Byalero the Albertine tax and drivers association chairman says the drivers are left with no option but to increase the transport fares due to an increase in the price of fuel.

He says clients traveling on the Hoima-Katikara-Nalweyo-Buruko–Kakindo and Kinunda route have to pay an extra Shs2,000 on top of the Shs8,000 they have been paying. The fare to Kitore-Rwoga- Buhimba Kikimizi has also increased from Shs5,000-Shs7,000.

Those heading to Buhimba from Hoima now pay Shs3,000 from the usual Shs2,000, fares to Kikwaya-Igayaza hace increased from Shs10,000 to Shs12,000, Kasabya-Kakumiro increased from Shs15000-Shs17000 and Hoima-Mubende increased Shs20000 to Shs24000.

However, he says fares from Hoima-Kampala, Hoima Kagadi, Hoima-Masindi and Hoima-Kaiso-Tonya have not changed.

Henry Atugonza the client on Hoima Kagadi routes says: "I don’t blame the drivers but the government which has increased the taxes before it listens to the public,"

"And I think our members of parliament could be among the people who are not minding about the ones who voted for them instead of reducing the taxes to prevent poverty  but they are increasing I don’t know where Uganda is taking us.

Seguja, a driver on Hoima Kinunda route says "I am worried because customers say what we are asking is too much for them. They are resisting saying that it's a lot of money. Weare going to face a big challenge."

"I think our leaders should go on radios and sensitize the public about this otherwise we are going to get a lot of cases that drivers are cheating customers."

Dfcu Shaken By Investors Uncertainty

The month of July kicked off with a storm at dfcu bank. First, it was their second biggest and longest investor, CDC, announcing it was putting an end to their relationship with the bank then news broke that their biggest shareholder Arise BV, with a 58.71% ownership, was also leaving.

While dfcu was quick to refute claims that Arise BV was leaving, one fact that kept popping up in the media and was never fully refuted by dfcu was that the Chief Executive Officer of Arise BV, Deepal Malik was relinquishing his position on the dfcu board.

Deepak quitting his position on dfcu board cannot be ignored. It expressively speaks about the relationship the two organizations are having. And it doesn't imply that it is smooth, maybe not so bad, but not good either.

A press statement released by dfcu, and signed off by Deepak, to tame rumors that Arise BV was dumping dfcu reaffirmed that Arise BV was retaining its investment in dfcu Limited in Uganda. Deepak said Arise BV has no intentions of relinquishing its shareholding in dfcu.

Dfcu has been facing a tolid time ever since they dubiously took over Crane Bank from Bank of Uganda in a deal that has never been exhaustively explained to the public and has attracted numerous litigation in local courts.

Many industry analyst believe this takeover is coming bank to haunt dfcu as investors like CDC and Arise BV question ethical and corporate governance of dfcu. It is hard to say when this instability will trickle down the bank’s customers.

Should CDC and Arise BV quit dfcu, it will take a great amount of financial muscle and experience from dfcu. This could lead to its collapse and loss of customer and investor’s money. CDC owns up to 9.97% of Dfcu with US$15.1 million in equity and US$10m as subordinated loan.

Other shareholders of dfcu are National Social Security Fund (Uganda)-7.69%, Kimberlite Frontier Africa Naster Fund (6.15%), SSB-Conrad N. Hilton Foundation (0.98%), Vanderbilt University (0.87%) and Blakeney Management (0.63%). As well as Bank of Uganda Staff Retirement Benefits Scheme (0.59%), Retail investors (11.19%) and two undisclosed Institutional Investors (3.22%).

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