Keynote Address at Signing Ceremony between Embassy of Sweden and
United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF)
Mr. Alhaji Jallow
UN Resident Coordinator a.i. and FAO Representative in Uganda
Embassy of Sweden, Kampala, 3rd November 2016
Your Excellency, Per Lindgärde,Ambassador of Sweden,
Mr. James Baanabe, Commissioner for Energy Efficiency and Conservation, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development,
Mr. Hans Peter Christophersen, Trade and Energy Counselor, Royal Norwegian Embassy,
Distinguished Guests and Colleagues,
As Acting Resident Coordinator of the United Nations in Uganda, I am very pleased to represent the United Nations at this signing ceremony, which, I believe, marks the first partnership between the Embassy of Sweden and United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) in Uganda.
This partnership isbeing forged to support energy SMEs in Uganda to innovate product and service delivery in under-served markets around the country, especially in rural areas.
In my capacity as Head of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in Uganda, I do know first-hand that energy and economic development go hand-in-hand. In a country where more than 80 percent of the households are involved in agriculture, universal access to modern energy is critical to achieving Uganda’s vision of becoming an upper middle income country by 2040.
In fact, with current improvements in price and performance of off-grid solar products, efficient appliances and fuels, rural households and businesses now have the chance to leapfrog to a more modern and energy efficient way of living and doing business.
Your Excellency, I think you have found a great partner among the UN family in incubating market-development approachesto achieveSustainable Development Goal Number 7 on clean and affordable energy for all.UNCDF is a small, but catalytic, agency in the UN family. It tests innovations in private and public financing, primarily in least developed countries. It is one of only two UN agencies with a capital investment mandate. Though small in size, its impact is not, because it works hand in hand with the Government and private companies to test and scale up financing models that work.
In Uganda, UNCDF’s CleanStart Programme is already co-investing USD 1.8 Millionin early stage business ideas related to financing distributed energy services, allowing five energy and financial service providers to keep innovation firmly on their agenda while building up their businesses for future growth.Thanks to this partnership with the Embassy of Sweden, more energy SMEs in Uganda can now benefit from early stage investments and make step changes in the way they serve customers at the last-mile.
On behalf of the UN Country Team, collectively aligned under the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF), gratitude is extended to you for the opportunity to contribute to the development cooperation priorities of the Government of Uganda and the Embassy of Sweden.
Thank you very much for listening to me.
The Uganda National Population and Housing Census 2014