Uganda has been ranked among the top 20 countries in the world with the greatest number of people lacking access to clean fuel and technologies for cooking.

According to the Energy Progress Report for 2021, a product of a partnership between the World Bank and bodies such as the International Energy Agency, Uganda is ranked alongside Nigeria, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of the Congo, United Republic of Tanzania, Kenya, Mozambique, Madagascar, Ghana and Niger in terms of using cooking fuel that is not environmentally friendly.

“For the first time, in 2019, more people without access to clean fuels and technologies reside in Sub-Saharan Africa than in any other region. Close to 900 million people or around 85 percent of the population in the region lack clean cooking access, accounting for 35 percent of the global access deficit,” the report states.

“Current trends suggest that unless rapid action is taken to scale up clean cooking, the world will fall short of the universal access target for clean cookingby almost 30 percent, achieving only 72 percent of the population in 2030,” it adds.

The report’s findings agree with the 2016/2017 Uganda National Household Survey, which noted that 90 per cent of households use biomass (firewood or charcoal for cooking). From the Uganda National Charcoal Survey, 2016 policy brief report by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Development (the Green Charcoal project), it was also noted that the country loses 60 million metric tonnes of wood annually.

The report adds that while Sub-Saharan Africa has the largest share of renewable sources in its energy supply, it is not modern – 85 percent is traditional uses of biomass.

 Latin America and the Caribbean have the largest share of modern renewable energy uses, thanks to hydropower for electricity, bioenergy for industrial processes and biofuels for transport, the report states.

Nevertheless, the report hails Uganda for increasing access to electricity. Among the 20 countries with the largest access deficits, Bangladesh, Kenya, and Uganda showed the greatest improvement since 2010, thanks to the rural electrification policy.

The report adds that international public financial flows to developing countries in support of clean energy amounted to $14 billion in 2018, a 35 percent decrease from an all-time high of $21.9 billion the year before.

The Energy Progress Report monitors global, regional and country progress on the three targets of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 7: access to energy and clean cooking, renewable energy, and energy efficiency. It identifies priorities for action and best practices that have proven successful in helping policy makers and development partners understand what is needed to overcome challenges.