Baz Waiswa

Baz Waiswa

Here Is Why Museveni is Buoyant About Nuclear Power Project

President Yoweri Museveni has defended the nuclear power generation in Uganda, clarifying that the crisis of 2005 when a severe drought affected the hydro power generation at Owen Falls Dam in Jinja prompted him to direct the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development to diversify the energy mix to ensure energy security for the country.

“In 2005, Uganda experienced drought that affected hydro electricity generation from Owen Falls Dam. As a result we resorted to expensive fossil powered plants to support the economy which prompted me to direct the Ministry of Energy and mineral Development to diversify the energy mix to develop all the available resources including nuclear energy as a means to address the electricity needs of the country,” the President said.

The President made the remarks Wednesday during the opening of the 2nd Africa Nuclear Business Platform Conference and Exhibition 2023 at Speke Resort Munyonyo in Kampala, Uganda. The conference running from 14th - 7th, March has attracted over 300 stakeholders from the domestic and international nuclear community.

Need for transparent partnerships

Museveni further noted that the sustainable development and the utilization of these resources necessitates establishing transparent and well-balanced partnership with key technology providers.

“Therefore, this meeting presents a very good opportunity for exploring areas of strategic collaborations between African countries pursuing nuclear energy development and nuclear energy providers in forging the way forward,” he observed.

While referring to the speech by the representative of the South Korean CEO of the Korean Hydro and Nuclear Company (KHNP), Cha Seop Kim who said Korea has made great strides in the nuclear development, Museveni pointed out that the people of Africa and Uganda in particular lack the mentality to initiate development programs citing Korea that was in the 1960’s poorer than some of the African countries, today has 25 nuclear power plants.

He said in 1986 Uganda was generating only 60 MW of electricity and the country will soon generate 2,100 MW of electricity observing that it will not be enough for the country's needs. He added that Uganda needs about 100,000MW of electricity.

Museveni also noted that the population destroys about 40 billion cubic meters of trees annually for heating and cooking. He said while trees grow easily it is not however the correct way to go.

Tactical ban on uranium

On uranium, the President reiterated his firm stand that the natural mineral will never be exported as it is needed for the generation of nuclear power.

“I halted the exportation of uranium because we need electricity for socio-economic development. The issue of Nuclear Power in Africa is a must, it is reliable. The option of nuclear power is a very wise one; we should not waste time on that,” he stressed.

Museveni further told delegates that the potential of rivers in Africa that include the Nile, Congo, Niger and Zambezi is about 300 MW and they are not reliable.

Centers at Soroti University

Museveni also witnessed the signing of the three (3) Memoranda of Understanding between the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development officials and partners in the nuclear energy sector.

The first MOU was that of the establishment of a center of excellence at Soroti University and was signed by the Minister of State for Energy Okasai Opolot while the Vice Chancellor Professor Ikojja signed on behalf of the University.

The Second MOU was for the establishment of the center for Nuclear Science and Technology at Soroti University and was signed by the Vice President of IVAP SE Pablo Abbate on behalf of IVAP SE Group of Argentina and Okasai signed on behalf of the government of Uganda.

The 3rd MOU was for the development of a nuclear power plant in Uganda and was signed by Cha-seop Kim who was representing the CEO of South Korea's Hydro and Nuclear Power Company Dr. Joo-ho-Whanga.

Nuclear good option for accessing electricity  

Earlier, the Prime Minister the Robinah Nabbanja said nuclear power is one of the options that will enable Uganda to achieve global goals of accessing electricity for all.

She added that potential sites for the construction of the plants have been identified one of them being in Buyende district. She thanked IAEA for the technical support in the feasibility studies.

The Minister of Energy and Mineral Development, Ruth Nankabirwa, who was represented by the Minister of State for Energy Okaasai Sidronius Opolot, told the audience that nuclear power offers many advantages such as a reliable and stable energy supply to enable industrialisation and thus energy security.

Nuclear energy is clean energy

She added that the conference comes at the right time when the Government of Uganda has made the plans to incorporate nuclear power in the country’s energy mix, with an installation, currently standing at 1346MW mainly from Hydro.

The Deputy Director of IAEA Mikhail Chudakov pointed out that the clear alternative for clean energy is nuclear power that can lift many people in Africa from poverty.

Her said nuclear power can also mitigate the issue of climate change.

Nankabirwa Re-opens Mining Portal

The Minister of Energy and Mineral Development, Dr Ruth Nankabirwa Ssentamu, has today at Uganda Media Centre re-opened the Online Mining Cadastre Transaction Portal to the general public.

Nankabirwa encouraged current and prospective license holders to familiarise themselves with the law, including imminent regulations, because all registered portal users shall strictly adhere to the legal requirements in the Mining and Minerals Act, 2022.

She said the government established the Online Mining Cadastre Transaction Portal in 2019 to manage mineral rights, including licensing, communication, reporting and payments.

She further said that the Ministry is upgrading its online mineral licensing system to align with the new law.

“The Ministry has ensured that all the mineral licensing processes and transactions are conducted online to ensure transparency and accountability in the mineral,” she explained.

The process of applying for mineral licenses is entirely online HERE or HERE.

The new Mining and Mineral Act 2022, the minister said, implement the objectives of the Mining and Mineral Policy 2018, addresses critical challenges, increases revenue from the mineral sector, introduces a comprehensive, stable, transparent, efficient and effective legal and regulatory framework to govern the mining sub-sector.

The Act provides for competitive bidding for mineral licenses, exploration for geothermal resources and their direct uses, state equity participation, and establishing a state-owned mining company to cater for the state’s commercial interests in mining. The Act establishes mineral production sharing, local content, international treaties domestication and ASM regulation.

Acquisition of new data

The Ministry plans to conduct a detailed exploration of some mineral prospects, leading to feasible mining projects that can be packaged for investments through competitive bidding.

To achieve this, Nankabirwa said, the government is investing in acquiring high-resolution geological, geochemical and geophysical data and generated mineral targets to be packaged for investors to carry on detailed exploration.

"The government has completed phase one of the airborne geophysical survey, where preliminary data has been acquired over the Karamoja and Lamwo region, completing the 20% gap in the geophysical dataset in the country. Interpretation of the data and sensitisation of communities for ground follow-up is ongoing," the minister revealed.




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How New Life Schools Buwaidha Is Planning To Uplift Education In Buyende District

Buyende district remains one of the most impoverished districts in Uganda and it is even more appalling when it comes to education, skills training and transfer and knowledge acquisition.

The district on the shores of Lake Kyoga largely relies on government schools are often ill-equipped to the constraints government faces when funding schools across the country.


Eng Isabirye Gerald is the executive director of New Life Schools Buwaidha

In this interview, Eng Isabirye Gerald, as the executive director, talks about the plans they are laying a plan to transform the education sector in Buyende district through New Life Schools Buwaidha.

Background of the New Life Schools Buwaidha  

New Life Schools Buwaidha is a community school located in a village called Buwaidha found in Buyende district, Busoga sub-region. The multipurpose school seeks to provide quality education to vulnerable children in a dignifying environment. The vision of New Life Schools Buwaidha is to train a generation of Godly leaders who will serve nations.

We believe opening a school in the Buwaidha area is imperative to the well-being of the children not only in their education but in developing them psychologically, emotionally and socially and giving them a chance to experience life as a normal child should. 


New Life Schools Buwaidha is bringing new education facilities and equipment like smartboards to Buyende district

The objectives are quite many, and our vision puts the entire community at the centre. For example, we want children in Buwaidha and neighbouring communities to reach their full potential by providing them with a good education. 

We want to start community-based projects that we hope will provide jobs to people in the community and keep families together as the school is a local amenity. 

Targeted achievements

New Life Schools Buwaidha wants every child to have an opportunity to attain quality formal education to break the cycles of illiteracy and poverty that have been for so long defined this area.  

This is what we want to achieve. We want to support vulnerable and underprivileged children living in Buwaidha village and the surrounding areas with easy access to quality education.

Education model  

At New Life Schools Buwaidha, we use the Ugandan curriculum. We will teach everything that as required by the government. Our students will take the required tests to be able to graduate like the rest of the country. 

The difference with New Life Schools is that we teach the same information but in a different way. Instead of teaching only how to memorize to pass tests and exams, we teach our students critical thinking. 

The plan is to start with the launch of the Kindergarten in January 2023. Once the Kindergarten school is open, a year later, we will build the Primary division and High School. 

The school will have a Recreational Center, Teachers' Housing and a Medical Centre. The school will also provide community-based projects and training programs outside of school hours. 

Planned Kyabazinga launch  

First, it is always a pleasure and prestigious when the Kyabazinga graces such a function. We expect the Kyabazinga to come with a high delegation from the kingdom. Also, we hope that the Kyabazinga will come with a message of hope to inspire his subject. There is always something to learn from the Kyabazinga.

New Life Schools is working with Obwa Kyabazinga Bwa Busoga. And to launch the project, the Kyabazinga of Busoga, His Majesty William Wilberforce Gabula Nadiope IV, will on 28th January 2023 preside over the launch of the kindergarten section and break the ground for the construction of the upper sections – primary and secondary sections. 

Petroleum Institute Gets Museveni’s Backing To Reach Full Potential

President Yoweri Museveni has asked Uganda Petroleum Institute – Kigumba (UPIK) to present its full development plan because the government has the money to support it.

The President made the call while commissioning new infrastructure projects undertaken by the institute on Saturday. UPIK, with funding from the World Bank and the government of Uganda, undertook a $32m infrastructure development including staff houses that the president commissioned.

“I really want to tell you that the problem here is bad planning by the overall government structure because this money that we are talking about, the $32 million which has been invested is not such a big amount of money given the importance of Kigumba Petroleum Institute,” the President said.

He said Government should plan well and prioritise investing in lucrative projects that will generate billions of dollars for the country in a few years to come.

“The question is how many oil projects do you have? We have only one in Mwitanzige (Lake Albert) Valley. It's the project we have that will give us billions of dollars in a few years’ time and it needs support of training which we planned Kigumba Institute should provide that,” he added.

“Even if we are to spend $50 million, 60 or even $100 million to make Kigumba Petroleum Institute a world class training centre, we shall do it. We have the money. Yes we have got very many needs, some want money to eat. We can constrain that. We can say stop travelling. Tell the civil servants, the MPs, the politicians to stop travelling abroad; money is being wasted in external travel and here Kigumba is crying for money!

President Museveni also disclosed that it was Uganda under the NRM Government that started the initiative of training people in petroleum in the whole of Africa.

“The people we sent abroad to train in petroleum are the ones who discovered oil here. They came and showed me on the computer. That is how they started now to look for these companies because we didn't have the money to dig but already, we knew the location of the oil,” he said.

“If you have that history of pioneering, let's also pioneer in this Education here by having a world-class petroleum training centre and later alone you can have other aspects of energy like solar and biogas. We can add them later. So, please let us get the full plan. We shall support it because it is unique. You cannot compare it with external travel and allowances inside Uganda. We can freeze all that and have this like we have done for other things.”

The First Lady also Minister of Education and Sports, Janet Museveni, said the Skilling Uganda Strategic Plan aims to skill Ugandans and unlock their potential for productivity.

Since then, the education ministry has been implementing various projects towards the achievement of that goal and interventions within these projects have led to improved infrastructure, systems and processes in the delivery of technical and vocational education training in this country. 

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education and Sports, Kate Lamaro, said the commissioned facilities were very significant to the government's journey of transforming skills development in the country.

“UPIK is earmarked to be transformed into a Centre of Excellence for oil and gas-related training. This is in line with the Skilling Uganda strategy and plan which strongly advocates for building centres of excellence to supply manpower for specific economic sectors,” Lamaro said.


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