Uganda: A New Market in East Africa

It has been almost four years since we started our work in Kenya and enabled local companies to switch to solar energy. After many success stories and countless projects, the moment has now come when we no longer limit ourselves to Kenya, but also want to become active in other countries in the region. It is time for an expansion, time to expand our presence in East Africa. Time to enter the Uganda market!

An increasing economy in the heart of Africa

Much like its direct neighbor Kenya, Uganda offers great conditions for the expansion of solar energy: proximity to the equator and thus many hours of sunshine per year, a clear focus on renewable energies in power generation and constant economic growth. Although Uganda’s economic power in terms of gross domestic product is significantly smaller than that of its neighboring country, it has always been able to show strong growth of around 6% in recent years and decades. This puts Uganda ahead of not only Kenya but also other major economic engines in Africa such as Nigeria, South Africa and Egypt in terms of the percentage growth rate of GDP in the vast majority of years.

Agriculture: the key role for Uganda’s economy

Uganda’s economic growth over the past three decades has also been driven by a clear shift away from agriculture and toward services and manufacturing. However, even though the economic importance of arable farming has continued to decline in recent years, it still plays a central role for the country. On the one hand, because more than two-thirds of all Uganda’s employees work in the agricultural sector, and on the other hand, because the country has established itself as an international exporter of countless foodstuffs.

Production of crops in Uganda, 2020
Graphic with harvests from Uganda and their yields

For example, Uganda is one of the world’s largest exporters of plantains, sweet potatoes and coffee, produces several million tonnes sugar cane and corn per year, and also grows many other crops such as tea, cotton and vanilla. This wide range of products is possible thanks to a combination of ideal growing conditions, such as low temperature fluctuations and fertile soil, which are rarely found elsewhere.

Our first project: A project for agriculture

Given the importance of agriculture to the country, it is not surprising that our first project in Uganda also benefits an agricultural business – a tea farm to be precise. We will be installing solar panels at two locations to ensure that the processing of tea leaves is powered by clean electricity for McLeod Russel, a renowned company that exports its teas around the world. To this end, we are initially installing a solar plant with 450 kWp at the Mwenge site. In a second step, a plant for the Bugambe site will follow.

Mc Leod Russel Tea Farm

In addition to the double project for McLeod Russel, we have already signed other projects for other tea farms. We are positive that many other farms will follow this example and switch to solar energy together with us. Our sales team in Uganda has aleady developed a project pipeline of 26 MWp, so we can expect many new projects in the East African country in the coming months.

„Being able to expand our presence in East Africa by entering the Ugandan market together with our esteemed local EPC partner is a great win for us. We hope that we’ll soon be able to equip many businesses in Uganda with clean, affordable energy.“

Ayub N., Sales Engineer ecoligo

Together with Spenomatic to Uganda

However, we are not entering the Ugandan market alone, but with a long-standing partner with whom we have already implemented many projects in Kenya: Spenomatic Solar Ltd. The company has great expertise and can look back on several decades in the planning, installation and maintenance of solar plants. To date, Spenomatic has equipped more than 200 customers in Africa with solar systems, installing systems with a capacity of over 6.5 MWp in Kenya alone. The general contractor is also already established in Uganda as a supplier of hot water systems.

We are pleased to have Spenomatic Solar as a reliable partner to help us implement all of our initial solar projects in the East African country. Together we have big plans in Uganda!

Uganda, here we come

In a few days our first solar project in Uganda will already be available on the crowdinvesting platform. Thanks to further signed projects and more solar plants in the pipeline, we will continue to launch new projects in Uganda in the coming months. We look forward to further expand our presence in East Africa, together with you.