ARUA. The Uganda National Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Alliance (UNREEEA) wants the 0.5 per cent tax on mobile money scraped to allow the rural population access solar energy with ease.
The mobile telephone companies of MTN and Airtel currently provide pay for utility services which enables consumers of solar systems to pay for the services.
Mr Grace Walukamba Aldon, the communications and membership manager at UNREEEA said the more the tax, the more the prices of the renewable energy products.
Walukamba was addressing journalists in Arua on Thursday at the side-lines of a training of its members on improvement of their business marketing skills to penetrate communities to fight energy poverty.
“We as UNREEEA, we want the 0.5 per cent tax on mobile money to be scraped so that people in the rural villages can access solar energy with ease, we are also giving our members funds in order to transport their products to the rural areas, this will mean that we have reduced their costs on transport and therefore they can reduce the cost of their product so that the end user can get them at a cheaper price”, Walukamba said.
Energy access in Uganda currently stands at 26.7 per cent according to statistics from the Uganda energy regulatory authority and of that, 7 per cent are on renewable energy. It means that 74 per cent of Ugandans do not have access to energy which affects various aspects of their lives.
The common renewable energy efficiency products on the market include solar, cook stoves, brackets and bio-gas among others.
“Most of our members have the products, they have the clients, but they fail to get a niche in which to penetrate the markets to get profits from their products”, Walukamba added.
Ms Winfred Amuge, a marketing executive of Sun King Company which deals in solar products said the demand for their products is high in rural areas but the locals are unable to afford them.
Mr Charles Munduni, another dealer in energy products from Nile Micro finance decried the circulation of fake solar products not certified by Uganda National Bureau of Standards on the market has tainted the image of companies that deal in genuine products.
Mr Richard Kirakunde, a business development consultant with Solutions on Point said their work is to help entrepreneurs who are involved in the energy efficient business to be able to sale properly and find a good business proposition for their customers and improve the global agenda of climate change.
“The lack of awareness and the lack of engagement from the private sector with the stakeholders which is government and other players who can help businesses and engage new markets grow their customer base or even look up for new technologies that they can add to their products to improve their delivery”, Kirakunde said.
The skills trainings are being sponsored by Giz, ministry of energy and UNREEEA.