Uganda's Electricity Sector Reforms and Institutional Restructuring

"Using time series and the Uganda National Household Survey data, this paper seeks to examine the impact of the electricity reforms on the performance of the sector. Specifically, we investigate the effectiveness of the reforms in terms of sector performance taking into consideration various performance indicators such as electricity access, generation per capita, distribution efficiency, price trends, subsidies and customer growth. These indicators were selected on the basis of the rationale of the reforms. Results show that connectivity is increasing, but cannot be statistically linked to the reforms. In addition, we show that the reforms have tended to favour the urban dwellers with connectivity levels rising from 36 percent in 1992 to 46 percent in 2009 while the rural dwellers have benefitted less due to the slow rural electrification rate. Electricity generation per capita remains low and there is a widening demand - generation gap, increased reliance on thermal generation, and rising cost per unit of electricity. Overall, the results do not generate significant evidence linking improved sector performance to the reforms. However, we recommend that these results be interpreted with caution due to the short time periods involved."