Seventeen (17) fisheries experts from the Uganda’s districts of Kampala, Mukono, Masaka. Wakiso and Jinja have been retooled on the bio-economics of fisheries management . The two days training (15th-16th March 2023) held at Makerere University was facilitated by Africa’s and Ghanaian renowned Professor of environmental economics, Wisdom Akpalu.
Prof. Wisdom was invited by the EfD-Mak centre to come and provide training on bio-economics of fisheries management to fisheries officers in Uganda. Prof. Wisdom is the centre Director of EfD Ghana but also the member of the coordination committee of the entire EfD Network and member of the capacity development committee of the EfD Network but also, the leader of the Blue resources for development- a collaborative program within the EfD Network where fisheries fall.
Government fisheries officials were retooled on different aspects including the cost, revenue and profit in fisheries economics, growth functions in fisheries, property rights and resources extraction, policy instruments to regulate overfishing. Other aspects were dynamic equilibrium and the concept of shadow value, destructive fishing practices, resource use externalities and the performance of capture fisheries in Africa.
The training was officially opened by the Principal College of Business and Management Sciences Assoc. Prof. Eria Hisali who congratulated the centre Director for organizing this training and other initiatives adding that, they are important because they add to our visibility as a a college and university and it also takes us to the government and other agencies out there.
Prof. Hisali noted that Fisheries and fish related products are among and still remain among the five leading exports from Uganda while Africa is one of the two continents where the big proportion of the population still lives directly of the fishing activities and Natural resources in general.
“Our concern then, is the way these activities are being undertaken is not sustainable we risk depleting these resources because of population pressure, and unsustainable practices and once that happens it threatens our existence of our continent but also as countries because if we deplete resources and yet we are living directly of the same, then everyone should be starting to imagine what will happen.
What will happen is untold suffering but also direct conflict for the little resources that would have remained and disintegration of countries and societies” he decried
The Principal challenged all participants to look at the strategic importance of the lessons to be undertaken in the two days
“This intervention that the center is undertaking to share insights on how best we can sustainably use these resources becomes very important for the very survival of our countries. I want you to look at this training as a very important one because it speaks of the very basis of our survival as a country and continent”, Prof. Hisali stressed.
Prof. Hisali advised participants to form a network which should go deeper into ideas given by Prof. Wisdom, contextualize them and ensure they are fully applicable to the Ugandan situation and begin influencing sustainable practices and policy.
“Some civil servants at your level tend to under look themselves. You are extremely powerful and you can influence so many things. So go with that confidence and come up with suggestions that are practical, make sense and that can be implemented.
As a university and specifically the center, Hisali pledged full availability to work closely with the fisheries experts and to convene in case they have ideas to work through the nitty gritties and contribute own insights .Prof. Hisali also pledged that the university will equally be available in terms of creating platforms for the works that fisheries experts do to engage wth policy makers.
As they integrate lessons and experiences and insights, and as they develop materials for policy advocacy, the principal implored participants to get back to working places and pass on the message to build capacity in institution to have a critical mass of public servants and members of the community who have a different perspective on the way of handling natural resources and understanding the implications of mismanagement of resources.
“History will judge extremely harshly if we don’t take the necessary actions today to ensure that the next generation of the people in our continent live a better and more meaningful life”
The Principal thanked Prof. Wisdom Akpalu for making time to come to Uganda and Makerere University in particular to share the knowledge, skills and experiences from Ghana, expressing the need for opening up to share cross country comparisons to learn from one another on the basis of areas with commonalities.
Knowledge on the biology and economics of fisheries management critical for practitioners.
Prof. Wisdom Akpalu observed that Africa has very few people who have the expertise in combining the biology and economics of fisheries management which has made fisheries management difficult and unattractive because decision makers usually want to hear about money, stocks have declined, how to improve stocks and how much can be got if stocks are improved, the social economic implications when stocks are improved and cost involved.
So, by bringing the biology and economics together one is able to paint a much better picture that is more appreciated by policy makers.
“The message is clear. We cannot manage what do not know. We cannot manage if we do not have some level of technical knowledge of how the fisheries operate and it is not sufficient to just have knowledge of the biology of fish the size, movement etc”, Wisdom stated.
Wisdom described Fisheries as an interesting area because it has so many dimensions that requires one to understand both the biology that is, how the fish grows, the thresholds in nature that you cannot harvest beyond a certain threshold or else the stock can collapse. And then you have to add the dimension of economics that when these fishes are harvested, they are harvested for economic and social reasons, as a source of food and also sold in the market that brings in the issue of cost, revenue and how does these influence the way we manage the resource.
“By providing them this knowledge, they now have a better sense of how to bring the knowledge in the biology and economics together to distinguish between concepts such as maximum sustainable yield which is the maximum quantity of fish that we can catch on a yearly basis and maximum economic yield which is the quantity to catch to generate the highest economic benefit.
Usually, the maximum economic yield may be lower than the maximum sustainable yield which means to make a lot of money, or to make the highest possible profit from the fisheries, you may have to deploy a lesser level of effort than you are aiming to catch the maxim you can catch on a yearly basis for society to consume”. The professor explained.
He further explained that sometimes the biology will recommend catching up to maxim yield but, the economics may recommend to restrict the catch because when you catch all, the profits you make is lower. If you reduce the catch at a lower level, other things have to come in, the social consideration, whether fishing for profit or other reason and how to incorporate those reasons in the basic model so as to appreciate things beyond economic gains or pure profits from economics.
Prof. Wisdom commended the participants for the active participation and ability to grasp the subject matter.
“I have been quite impressed. When I was coming, I knew they were going to be faculty graduate students etc. Only to see practitioners, people who were in the field doing fisheries work . I was wondering whether they are a cut for a course like this. But to my surprise, with all the concepts that I had to go through they were very comfortable.
“They showed the clear understanding of the concept and they were looking for more and when I gave exercises they did it clearly and gave me the answers. It has been quiet impressive and it shows that they have potential and the zeal, they have the interest and they will put what they have learnt to practice”. He appreciated.
Prof. Wisdom encourage the university to continue with this type of collaboration adding that the EfD Network within the continent has a lot expertise and potential that can be harnessed for the benefit of individual countries and the continent.
“With this type of interaction we share knowledge and sometimes we tend to undervalue this knowledge that we share but I believe that if we have to change things for better for the continent, we have to begin to make use of our expertise and experiences in a platform like this.
Today, it is bio-economics of fisheries management and next time it should be something also relevant for the continent This was a very good positive initiative, I applaud the university and encourage them to continue” He said.
Namaganda Ruth, the Fisheries officer from Mukono District Local Government said:
“The training was very productive to me in that being on the frontline of managing the fisheries, it gives you a clear picture of how you can predict and advise fishermen as the primary beneficiaries of the resource. At the district level, when policies are being developed, we can guide the technical officers, our superiors and politicians on how to effectively manage the resources.
If possible, the centre should organize more training in other aspects of natural resources because management is so diverse”.
Maganda Moses is the Senior Environmental Officer from Jinja District Local Government. He said:
“The training was very good. Much of what we are missing in government is attaching an economic value to what we do. We do not have those basics of making those estimates and calculations. But at least now, I have an idea of what I can do in case they need such information or data. The training was on how we can collect data on a particular resource of the fisheries sector.
So it was a very good training only that the training period of two days was inadequate and probably and we need further training in that, and even those who did not benefit from this, it would be good to introduce them to such training so that they are equipped with skills of generating data in the fisheries sector”.
Importance of the Fisheries sector
Fisheries according to Prof. Wisdom plays a key role in our social economic social being world over and on the continent. In Ghana, for example about 60% of the animal protein needed comes from fisheries and this because the other types of animal protein are either unavailable, scarce or expensive. So a lot of people derive that requirement from fish.
The same applies in Uganda, where people would have loved to eat fish but because fish is not readily available. So that fact that we have less than 10% of animal protein from fish, is not that people do not like fish but because it is outside the reach of the majority of people.
On the other hand, Wisdom asserts that fisheries are resources that if properly managed they can last forever but then these fisheries are over capitalized and over fished in Ghana and Uganda. So, the fisheries sector is extremely important for job create employing a huge number of the population, giving animal protein requirement,.
“Fisheries products provides foreign exchange because a lot of money is spent through foreign exchange in Uganda through Nile perch processing and export .So the sector is critical and beyond just being important even the value alone to the fish that is harvested is about 2.1% of the Ugandan GDP and that is why it was important for the government officials to be retooled”. Prof. Wisdom explained.
Key issues affecting the fisheries sector
Prof. Wisdom noted that the fisheries sector both in Ghana and Uganda are troubled with so many challenges . One of those is over-capitalization where there are too many vessels, canoes, boats and that has to be reduced. There is also lack of proper management and so much competition for stocks from different sub-sectors that is leading to over exploitation of stock.
There is use of all sorts of destructive methods because there is competition for stock as fisher men tend to think that they can use other illegal means to be able to catch more fish. Some use explosive dynamites, small size nets, small filament nets which are all over the places posing a serious challenge within the industry.
But most importantly there is lack of knowledge and capacity to be able to appreciate the impact of all problems on the stocks, harvest, profits and gains that generated from these resources.
Key policy interventions Uganda can emulate from Ghana
From the discussions and interactions with the fisheries experts, Prof. Wisdom noted that Ghana and Uganda it appears have similar challenges including over capacity in the fishing activities taking place, low political and foreign interests in the fisheries sector with foreigners coming in to compete with locals.
In Ghana, Wisdom said, there are areas dedicated to small scale fishing and the aim is to secure livelihoods of poor people living along coastal communities, with specific marked spaces that are reserved for local fishermen so that they can have some catch.
Uganda can learn that Ghana has demarcated where and what locals and foreigners can fish.
“We should also priorities local fishermen viz-a-viz foreign vessels and if possible impose enough taxes on the foreign vessels and use those taxes to take care of local fishermen. We realized that we can gain efficiency by allowing foreign vessels to fish species that local people find difficult to catch and make sure we get taxes that can support local fishing industry so that local fishermen are not denied their basic livelihoods.
Ghana according Prof. Wisdom has clauses and policies where within specific areas fishermen are not supposed to fish to allow the stocks to recover. From the discussion with the fisheries officials, Uganda also did it once or twice but has not done it for some time. It is time for Uganda to revisit and try to implement this policies because there are clear ecological benefits and improvement in catches of fisher folks.
Although Uganda has marine police like in Ghana, Ghana in addition has other established local institutions. There is what is called, “landing beach enforcement committee” where local people constitute themselves into enforcement units and they are able to control some of the illegal practices about fisher folks that Uganda can learn from.
Ghana as explained by Prof. Wisdom has a strong collaboration between research, academia and policy makers working at the ministries and then, the stakeholders the fisher folks and civil society organizations. That platform he advised should be encouraged to be created so that it will not be one sided decision, it will be a platform where researchers, fisher folks, civil society organizations and the ministries can always come together to discuss issues of common interest.
Ghana has also established the scientific and technical committee of the Fisheries commission compromising stakeholders such as people from academia who identify and investigate issues for discussion and advise the commission to implement issues observed and Uganda can learn from this.
In Ghana’s fishing communities, there is what they call, “the fish queens or mummies”. These are women who take key roles in post-harvest activities and the fish queen is the leader of women engaged in fish processing and trading and typically, they are the ones who determine the pricing of fish. When the fisher folks come from the sea, they observe the catches of a few vessels like the first three canoes and are able to tell what the supply of the day would be and that guides them to determine the price per measure would be and they announce that price and every fisherman that comes has to sell at that price. So they play that key role of determining the price of fish and all fishermen on that day obey that particular price.
In Ghana, the fisheries industry especially the artisanal vessels are supposed to be Ghanaian. The semi-industrial vessels are also supposed to be owned by Ghanaians and including industrial trawlers are also supposed to be owned by Ghanaians. But because the Ghanaian don’t have the capacity to own the trawlers, they go into a hire purchase agreement and the agreement tends to be rooted in corruption. Those who claim to have hired the vessels do it on behalf of foreigners who disguise as experts on how to manage vessels but are the true beneficiaries. At the end of the day they end up catching the fish they are not supposed to and make a lot of money. So there are Vessel Monitoring Systems that are installed on vessels to monitor and track them and to know where exactly they are operating.
Prof. Wisdom says he has been recommending installation of video devices so that the activities can be watched at a distance so that they can be regulated better and avoid exploitation. By installing video devices on boats and vessels that target big species like the Nile perch to monitor them, the benefits cost will be 21 to 1.
Remarks by the Director EfD-Mak centre
Prof. Edward Bbaale welcomed participants to Makarere University and the EfD Centre. In a special way, Prof. Bbaale thanked the visiting professor for moving all the way from Ghana to come and facilitate the workshop.
Bbaale also extended appreciation to the university management and the Principal CoBAMS for facilitating and overseeing the center’s operations.
He thanked participants for making time to come to Makerere saying, they were selected because they were instrumental in their duty station assuring them that the training will focus on what they do at their places of work.
Prof. Bbaale assured participants that none of the participants was selected by Makerere but letters were write to their bosses who selected them. He said by the end of the training, they would have changed the way they perceived things and the way they would want to go deeper into bio economics of fisheries management.
He assured participants that the facilitator is one of the best environmental economists in Africa.
“We have a person that has invested a lot of time in the work for which he is sharing with us. He has had a lot of experience working with international organizations before he came back to work with a university in Ghana and also to established the EfD centre in Ghana”
He thanked Prof. Wisdom for creating this collaboration saying, the center is developing capacity in different areas and would be glad to visit Ghana and share the experiences.
“Uganda is an agricultural country and the government officers you see here are very few compared to the need that we have, that means that may be another time we shall invite you for another cohort because here, are people from the ministry of agriculture, environmental police, and colleagues from different local governments from different districts. It means that to have lasting impact we must require that we have several rounds of this nature”, Bbaale added.
Prof. Wisdom Akpalu
Prof. Wisdom is the Centre Director of EfD Ghana but also the member of the coordination committee of the entire EfD Network and member of the capacity development committee of the EfD Network but importantly, the leader of the Blue resources for development- a collaborative program within the EfD Network where fisheries is. He obtained a PhD in economics from the University of Gothenburg Sweden 2006. He is currently Dean, of the School of Research and Graduate Studies at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration. Prof Wisdom is also the President of the African Association of Environmental and Resource Economists in Africa. His research focuses on social economics of natural resource management including fisheries management, economics of crime and punishment and economic institutions.
Makerere University hosts CSAE Economic Development workshop 2023
Makerere University has hosted this year’s Center for the Study of African Economies (CSAE) workshop that brings together scholars across the world.
The workshop started on November 27and is expected to run up to November 30 at Makerere University Yusuf Lule Central Teaching Facility II (CTF).
The Center has brought together economic scholars from Africa, Europe, North America, and Asia among others to discuss how the economy of Africa can be developed through conducting research.
According to Prof Eria Hisali, the Principal of the College of Business and Management Sciences (CoBAMS), they are looking at scholars doing research to the extent that it can help them to understand the problems hindering development, understanding the obstacles and finding the correct solutions to the development of the African countries.
“Researchers are presenting their research to get advice, get room for improvement and pave a way of translating the research finding into policies,” he said.
He noted that it is a great opportunity for researchers from different universities both on the African continent and outside the continent to present the work that they are doing and to understand the economies of the different countries.
This years’ conference is attended by about 40 speakers on the continent and around 10 speakers from Europe, Asia, and North America, Canada among others discussing different areas that are relevant to understanding the economies.
These include the Natural resources and environmental misuse, fiscal policies and monetary policies, agriculture, inequality and poverty and trade and structural transformation among others.
Prof Hisali said Uganda’s problems arise from her structural formation but there is need to look beyond just the physical problems like poverty and unemployment and establish the root cause of that.
“It is true we have unemployment in Uganda and we still need to grapple with issues of poverty but we need to appreciate that unemployment, poverty among others are not the primary problems, they are actually effects of certain underlying problems. So, we want researchers to understand what explains unemployment as we see it,” he explained.
Prof Stefan Dercon, the Professor of Economic Policy at the University of Oxford who doubles as the Director of CSAE revealed that African researchers need to improve the quality of their work and create avenues for associating with policy makers to appreciate their work for the development of their economies.
“Scholars are presenting their research and we give them feedback, share knowledge and learn from each other. A lot of research is still academic because we don’t create space for advisors. Very many economists are not good translators of research not only in Uganda but throughout the world,” he noted.
Prof Ibrahim Mike Okumu, the Dean of the School of Economics said this forum brings together scholars to discuss issues of the African economy among their colleagues who appreciate the African context saying, “They are here for quality checks. We have an opportunity to improve the quality of research papers that scholars across the African continent have developed. By improving the quality, we are trying to get authenticity, proof that the methodologies, the quality of analysis that we have is of standard and consequently we can have credibility regarding policy recommendation that will come from research papers.”
African scholars have come from Cameroon, Morocco, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa, Nigeria, and Botswana among others…
He re-echoed the message from the Principal concerning the problems affecting Uganda noting that they are not unique to Uganda, she (Uganda) is just struggling with sluggish structural transformation and that is the transition from agriculture to industry which he says is the same story across Africa.
“For as long as industries are not able to create sufficient jobs, the economy cannot pick up because the industry is what moves agriculture forward and is what gives business to the service sector. For as long as industry is not robust enough then you tend to have weak service and agricultural sectors,” he emphasized.
Dr Oluwabunmi Adejumo, a senior lecturer at Obafeemi Awolowo University in Nigeria who is conducting research on the clashes between herders and farmers from different states of the country from which over 10,000 fatalities were registered in 2020, advocates for a law of migrating herders to a separate place and stay away from farmers.
She noted that herders in Nigeria graze their cattle on the crops of farmers when the green space is exploited as a result of climate change like drying out of Lake Chad.
“I am suggesting a policy that I think will bring back sanity in Nigeria especially among herders and farmers,” she said.
This is the second time that this workshop is being held on the African continent, the first one was held in Ghana. The rest of other conferences have been held at Oxford University in the United Kingdom.
Makerere University to set up an agro-processing skilling hub in 2024
Makerere University in partnership with Promote Uganda Company Limited (PROUL) is set to establish an agro-processing skilling hub next year to expose students to agricultural machinery.
The hub that will be based at Makerere University main campus in Kampala will house agricultural machines that add value to agricultural products.
While unveiling the initiative on Thursday, November 23 during the opening day of the three-day 2nd Innovation and Agro-processing machine exhibition at Makerere University’s Freedom Square, Mr David Nsubuga, the Director for PROUL said many youths remain unemployed despite their academic qualifications and it is high time they embraced new technology to create more job opportunities for the graduates. He revealed that the university will be signing a memorandum of understanding with PROUL next week.
“On top of the courses students are studying, we are going to establish a skilling center where they can be exposed to the machines that add value to agricultural products. We believe that when they start buying and selling finished agricultural products, this, will start them on the journey of industrialists.” he noted
The Vice Chancellor, represented by his deputy Prof. Umar Kakumba, revealed that the university has student innovators who just need backup funds to transform the agricultural sector.
“They have innovated machinery that can do irrigation. We are partnering with Promote Uganda Limited to showcase some of the innovations and to be able to connect them to banks which can give them credit and be able to promote their machinery that they are producing including those that do a lot with production of finished goods.” He said in a message delivered by Prof Umar Kakumba, the Deputy Vice Chancellor in charge of academics.
Student innovators of agricultural machinery are those pursuing degree programmes related to bioprocessing engineering, water resources engineering, dealing with mechanical engineering and students of business management sciences among others.
The 2nd innovation and Agro-processing machine expo is a three day exhibition that will run from Thursday, November 23 to Saturday, November 25.
Prof Kakumba understands 80 percent of Makerere graduates fail to get formal employment and revealed the need to inject money in such innovations to harness surging number of unemployed youth flooding the streets of Kampala looking for what to do saying, “Every year, higher institutions of learning and tertiary institutions produce about 150,000 students and yet government job slots are around 30,000 only which is a great blow to students who want white collar jobs,” he added
Mr Steven Byantwale Tibeijuka, the Director Crop Protection in the Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Fisheries and Industries who represented the minister for Agriculture, Mr Frank Tumwebaze pledged on behalf of the government to support the skilling hub that will be established at Makerere University next year.
“I ask the University to put it into writing and address the letter to the minister, the government cannot fail to give you funds once everything is ready,” he pledged
Dr Cathy Mbidde, the manager of the Makerere University Innovation hub said the hub was established in August 2022 under the office of the Vice Chancellor to commercialise the innovations from basically research that the university does and their main goal is to create awareness of the agro-processing machinery.
She added: “When you look at the current Uganda National Development Plan III government’s agenda goal one is agri-industrialisation. As the University, yes we do research and teach but how do we work with the private sector to achieve that goal. We have students who have done research and discovered nutritional values but they don’t have the machinery and access.”
She believes this expo will act as an eye opener to young innovators to team up and purchase the agricultural machinery they need to start up small companies and food processing enterprises while still at the university.
According to her, every year Makerere University graduates around 13,000 students and they can’t find jobs anywhere so there is a need to come up with financing models through financing companies, Non-governmental organisations, and the government to help them to get machinery on credit.
Promote Uganda limited is a company that produces agricultural machinery and their partnership with the university is to introduce the idea of using machines to add value to agricultural products.
When many students graduate, they fail to get formal employment, and end up going to Arab countries where many have lost their lives.
Mr Nsubuga wants the skilling training on operation of agricultural machinery to be added to the students’ courses.
The skilling center will help students to become entrepreneurs and know how to utilise raw materials that are readily available from agriculture to make value added products. The expo is a cross-cutting student exhibition.
Mr Anthony Akandwanaho, a student from Busitema University, said had come to exhibit a day and night dryer invented by his lecturer.
“The machine uses solar thermal during the day to dry the products which it collects directly from the sun and transpires the heat to the products for drying and solar energy during the night,” he said
He noted that this machine dries products from both animal and plant types including meat, chicken, fruits and vegetables. And the maximum drying time for products is 24 hours, for those with higher moisture content like pineapples. However, for products like meat, it dries them within eight hours.
“The unique beauty with it is that you collect the water from the product and can be used for domestic purposes.” Mr Akandwanaho explained
The student also exhibited a chicken de-feathering machine which is able to rip all feathers from the chicken. The mode of operation is that you slaughter the chicken and soak it in warm water for about one minute and transfer the chicken to the machines and in 15 seconds, the feathers are all removed. Its production rate is three chicken per minute.
Some of the exhibited machinery include a garden sprayer, a maize mill, grain grinder stainless, potato slicer, electric chips cutter, vacuum sealer, food dryer, bone Shaw, meat cutter among others.
EfD Uganda Stakeholders Propose Sustainable use of Biomass
The Inclusive Green Economy program of the Environment for Development Initiative in Uganda on 17th November hosted stakeholders across the country’s sectors to get their perspectives on biomass transition to clean energy sources in Uganda.
Uganda’s IGE engagement specialists Dr. Peter Babyenda says this is one of the work plan item on on social inclusion where stakeholders were identified by IGE fellows during the 17th EfD Annual meeting in Ghana.
In a meeting held at Sheraton Hotel in Kampala, stakeholders gave the situation analysis of biomass use in the country, where they want to go, how to go there and who should take the country there.
“We found out that almost 90% of our households depend on biomass whether in rural areas or town. This is attributed to cultural issues where certain foods are believed to have good taste when cooked on firewood or charcoal, the fear to use electricity and gas that may result to shocks and fire explodes, inaccessibility to clean energy sources and affordability issues.”
The meeting resolved to primarily focus on behavioural change efforts of the sustainable use of biomass and gradual transitioning to clean energy sources.
’We concluded that for now we cannot say let us move to clean energy but go slowly go slowly on sustainable use of biomass by planting more trees so that instead of depending on natural forests, we depend on plantation forests, use energy saving stoves and those that can save users on effects of smoke and slowly move to clean energy sources by connecting households to electricity and make it affordable and make gas available at an affordable cost’´Babyenda said.
The meeting also proposed the need for more awareness creation about alternative energy sources such as biogas for schools and prisons.
Representing the Principal College of Business and Management Sciences, Dr. Yawe Bruno thanked Sida through the EfD Global hub at the University of Gothenburg for funding the IGE program and the EfD-Mak centre.
“The use of biomass in Uganda has persistently remained high. 80% use firewood and 13% charcoal for cooking but there is a proportion that use a combination of those two. This imposes great implication for household welfare.
Biomass usage affect our productivity, schooling of children, labour market participation especially by women and children. On health, the use of biomass especially firewood causes eye defects, breathing difficulties, snake bites, body dislocations and sexual abuse,” He explained.
Besides household effects, Yawe noted that reliance on biomass has effects on the environment.
Yawe reported that Uganda’s forest cover is being threatened by biomass usage reducing it from 24% in 1990 to less than 9% to date. Transiting to renewable and clean energy requires clear understanding of supply and demand relationship for both biomass and clean energy.
“We must know what drives the uptake and while many can afford gas and electricity, why are we insisting that we should have charcoal? Comparatively, a 6kg gas cylinder costs 60 thousand and today a bag of charcoal costs not less 70 thousand but some households find it cheaper which is expensive and because of the felling of trees, the quality of charcoal may not last more than a week,”
He challenged stakeholders to find out why the supply and demand for biomass is still high amidst detrimental effects and why the supply for clean energy is still low amidst numerous innovations.
Representing the Director EfD-Mak Center, the Dean, School of Economics Dr. Mike Okumu said many households are struggling to transition from firewood and charcoal due to socioeconomic characteristics that define them.
Okumu attributed the climate change effects to the household behaviours and enterprise behaviour and challenged stakeholders to find innovative ways of co-existing with the environment to enhance productivity and also feed communities
He congratulated the IGE engagement specialists for being intentional in identifying the participants taking into account that the majority and poorest population resides in the rural Uganda, and Uganda’s biggest population being the youth.
The meeting comprised specialists in environmental conservation, researchers in renewable energy specifically biomass energy, persons dealing in innovations in sustainable productivity, those working with rural energy transition and renewable energy through use of waste plants and animal residues and persons engaged in youth environmental initiative particularly agroforestry.
Okumu also congratulated the EfD-Mak centre for bringing on board collaborative partners from different Ministries, Departments and Agencies , the private sector and Civil Society organisations.
He expressed the centre’s commitment to engage in similar engagements for purposes of having a drive into a cleaner Uganda and mitigating climate change effects on Uganda’s economy and a drive to having persons making informed decisions towards a better climate sensitive Uganda.
Jane Anyango is the Communication Officer EfD Uganda
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