Iran offers to support Uganda’s power problem

May 31, 2006 02:00 AM

The Iranian government has offered to help Uganda overcome the current biting power shortfall, which has hit the economy hard.
The Iranian Ambassador to Uganda, Dr Morteza Aboutalebi, said Iran would talk to OPEC members to fund power projects in Uganda.
"Iran is not a donor country but will use its membership on the OPEC to convince other members to assist Uganda in solving the power crisis. This is not the first time this fund is doing this, many poor countries have benefited before," he said.

Iran is a founding member of OPEC and is an important player in today's world oil market, with great potential for future oil and gas discoveries and for increasing production and exports.
Aboutalebi disclosed the offer on May 16. He asked Ugandan companies to visit and develop trade relations with Iran adding that his country was rich in oil and gas fields among other resources.

"It is good that trade in Iran is liberalised and has attracted foreign investment in all sectors, especially oil, gas and petrochemicals. Opportunities for business now exist in many sectors, particularly the oil, gas and petrochemical industries," Aboutalebi said.
Aboutalebi said he was optimistic that if Uganda engages in serious trade relations with Iran it would be helped to move a step ahead in technology development. Since early February when the electricity body, Umeme, announced a 12-hour power load shedding up from the usual four hours, individuals, factories and other institutions have greatly been affected.

Actors in manufacturing sector now have to part with huge sums of money to buy giant generators that consume a lot of fuel. Those who cannot afford have slowly begun slipping into inactivity. Recently, the Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) announced new power tariffs for electricity end-users, which will be implemented with effect from June 1.
Iran is the fourth largest oil producer in the world. It has the world's second largest gas reserves and fourth largest oil reserves, as well as being rich in minerals.

Aboutalebi disclosed that at least 20 Iranian companies had shown interest to trade in Uganda and 15 of their proprietors visited the country early this year to establish Ugandans' needs.
He said tea was a selling product on the Iranian market, which he said Ugandan farmers could take advantage.

Source: The Monitor
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