Unleashing the Potential of Uganda’s Economy through Green Growth

At a Glance

Start Date Q1 2017
Funding Source Core
Approved Budget USD 2 615 000
Status Active
Thematic Area
  • Sustainable Landscapes
  • Sustainable Energy
  • Cross Cutting

Project Rationale

Uganda’s primary development strategies – the Uganda Vision 2040 and the National Development Plan II (NDPII, 2015-20) – map out an ambitious growth agenda for the coming decades. Uganda aims to achieve an annual economic growth rate of 8.4% by the year 2025, and attain Upper Middle Income Status by 2040. However, sustainable economic growth is threatened by the country’s vulnerability to climate change as 70% of the labor force is dependent on rain-fed agriculture. The Government of Uganda (GoU), therefore, has adopted a climate-centric economic model through the ongoing process of developing the Uganda Green Growth Development Strategy (UGGDS).

The UGGDS seeks to strengthen the technical and institutional capacity for the development of a GHG national inventory system, nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs), and the associated measuring, reporting and verification (MRV) systems. However, a number of cross-sectoral barriers to a green growth transition have been identified, and need to be addressed as part of a green transition. There have been limited attempts at progressive mainstreaming of green growth into upstream development planning, as well as putting in place a favorable institutional enabling environment. Further, there has been limited integration of the principles of resource use efficiency, sustainability, and resilience into the design of government programs and projects.

In particular, green urbanization poses a challenge to the green transition in Uganda, where the urban population will increase from 6 million in 2013 to over 20 million in 204022. Youth in Uganda make up a large proportion of the country’s demographic profile, with 77% of its population under the age of 30, of which 62% are jobless. Moreover, unemployment in Uganda remains predominantly an urban problem with the unemployment more than three times that of rural areas. The creation and training for green and decent jobs will necessitate both effective urban policy planning, implementation, and private sector development.

Building on 2015-16 Work

This project will continue to build on GGGI’s work in 2015-16, which focused on the development of a National Green Growth Implementation Roadmap, a National Green City Implementation Roadmap and action plans, and the delivery of capacity development activities.
Financing has posed a significant barrier to green growth, particularly in the execution of the first National Development Plan (NDP I 2010/11 – 2014/15). Slow progress in domestic revenue mobilization and poor prioritization and sequencing of projects resulted in a lack of financing. Therefore, improving the enabling environment to translate plans to action will continue to be a key focus for continued GGGI support.

Delivery Strategy


  • Develop 2 sectoral green growth plans and submit to government
  • Develop green city development guidelines for 3 secondary cities and submit to government
  • Prepare a feasibility study and investment proposal for a waste-to-energy pilot project for Kampala City and submit to government
  • Deliver 8 capacity building events on green growth


  • Government stakeholders adopt sectoral or sub-national green growth plans and green city development guidelines for implementation
  • A waste-to-energy project in Kampala City is approved for financing and implementation
  • 70% of participants in capacity building events gain improved knowledge or skills relating to green growth

Planned Results

The overall objective of this project is to contribute to Uganda’s green growth transition through technical support to the government, capacity building, and knowledge sharing activities, as well as guidance on the development a bankable green urban project. Focusing on Uganda’s urban sector, the project will analyze credible green pathways away from BAU, and seek to mainstream green growth in sector plans. The project will also focus on conducting a pre-feasibility and feasibility study on a bankable project in the area of integrated waste management in the Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area (GKMA), and/ or one other secondary city.

Two sectoral green growth plans developed and submitted to the government. GGGI is offering technical assistance to mainstream green growth into plans/strategies for two sectors (energy and water). The findings from the “Better Growth, Better Climate for Uganda” report, developed by GGGI partner New Climate Economy (NCE), will serve as inputs in this area of work. GGGI will continue to strengthen its partnership and collaboration with NCE to support the GoU in systematic green growth mainstreaming and implementation of the UGGS based on appropriate economic, social, and environmental criteria. GGGI will also provide technical support in green growth mainstreaming during the initial stages of developing the National Development Plan III in 2018 through improved inter-ministerial coordination.

Green city guidelines for three secondary cities developed and submitted. GGGI will build on the National Green City Roadmap to be completed by end of 2016, as well as NCE findings from an urban transitions assessment to guide Uganda’s urbanization process and green city development. The Spatial Economic Strategy, with its detailed assessment of the economic, social, and environmental performance on a range of national urbanization scenarios, including consideration of carbon abatement and climate risk, provides a sound basis for GGGI to advise the government on what to prioritize based on the Green City Roadmap. GGGI will support the GoU to implement the roadmap by developing green city guidelines for three secondary cities. The potential to create green jobs and to maximize co-benefits of mitigation and adaptation will feature in target secondary cities to incorporate aspects of micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises, urban poor, and other excluded groups.

A feasibility study and investment proposal for a waste-to-energy pilot project for Kampala City prepared and submitted to government. GGGI will conduct an assessment of the policy framework to inform the development of a prefeasibility study on one waste-to-energy project in the Greater Kampala Metropolitan Area. Given that Kampala generates an estimated 30,000 tons of waste per month, most of which is composed of vegetable matter, technical assistance in this area of work will contribute toward generating socio-economic benefits for the city. In addition, the pre-feasibility and feasibility studies will further explore the possibility of setting up a sewage-sludge to energy project to be implemented jointly by the Kampala Capital City Authority and the National Water and Sewage Corporation. Such a project would demonstrate the decentralized reuse of sewage sludge in an efficient small scale heat and power generation plant on the premises of one of NWSC’s waste water treatment plans.

GGGI will work with Kampala Capital City Authority to ensure that the pre-feasibility study incorporates urban poverty and gender aspects on the most appropriate technology, approach, and potential sites for the project.

Thereafter, GGGI will assess funding options and engage with potential financiers to design and prepare pilot project(s). Final feasibility and funding proposal(s) will be submitted to the government for approval.

Eight capacity building events on green growth delivered. Strengthening technical capacity of policymakers and relevant ministries to integrate green growth into the planning, budgeting, and spending processes at national, sectoral and provincial levels will be a key objective. GGGI will deliver joint training and exchange programs, and provide best practice cases in the areas of green city development and renewable energy, based on a thorough needs assessment and a capacity development plan customized to the Ugandan context. GGGI will also launch a private sector forum to build awareness on the private sector’s role in contributing to green growth.


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