Electrifying Uganda: A Co-op Story – ECT.coop

When Garry Mbiad’s plane approached Uganda’s Entebbe International Airport in mid-July as part of an NRECA International Programs project, the first thing he noticed was what he didn’t...

When Garry Mbiad’s plane approached Uganda’s Entebbe International Airport in mid-July as part of an NRECA International Programs project, the first thing he noticed was what he didn’t see.

Light.

“In the U.S., when you land at night, you see a lot of lights on the ground,” Mbiad said. “Finally, right before we landed, you could start seeing lights. The difference between the two countries in landing at night was evidence in my mind about the big job ahead in the rural electrification of Africa.”

For two weeks this summer, Mbiad, general manager and CEO of Guernsey-Muskingum Electric Cooperative, New Concord, Ohio, and three other co-op representatives from the United States worked with electric cooperatives and rural electrification officials in the impoverished country of Uganda in east-central Africa.

They were impressed that Ugandan authorities hope to bring electrification to all the nation’s rural areas by 2035.

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