MUBS gets first PhD, Masters graduates in energy economics and governance

Jude Kamuganga, a magistrate at Arua court, is among the pioneer graduates of the Master of Energy Economics and Governance (MEEG).

Makerere University Business School (MUBS) has graduated two students with PhDs in energy economics and governance at the 73rd Makerere University graduation ceremony at the main campus.

According to Prof Moses Muhwezi, the MUBS deputy principal, in the East African Community region, Uganda is the first country to introduce the course which looks into economic sense of using the different sources of energy and the issues related to using and the management of the different energy sources.

“As a country, this is the first time this course is coming to look at the governance issues, the economic sense, energy utilization and the local revenues from utilizing energy,” he said during the graduation ceremony on Thursday.

Asked to explain why they introduced the energy economics and governance course and whether it is necessary for the country, Prof Muhwezi said, currently, there is inadequate technical capacity in terms of research and development, education which is tailored to Uganda’s need.

He added that there is lack of integrated planning in the energy sector, hydroelectricity particularly is vulnerable to climate change and there is insufficient public awareness about opportunities and potential in the energy sector which is also worsened by inadequate knowledge on mineral availability in Uganda.

Jude Kamuganga, a magistrate at Arua City Court, who graduated with a Master of Energy Economics and Governance (MEEG), said the course has helped him understand better the energy sector in Uganda.

“As a lawyer by profession, I believe I needed knowledge pertaining to renewable energy, oil and gas and climate change, since they are new areas in our country. Lawyers require varied knowledge in private practice and judicial work, among others,” he said in an interview on Thursday.

Despite not having a background of maths or economics at undergraduate level, Magistrate Kamuganga excelled in all course units, including; Mathematical Economics, Microeconomics, Engineering Economics and Econometrics.

According to Prof Muhwezi, developed countries reached that stage by actively promoting strategic leadership and education in energy management and ensure sustainability, security, affordability and use by introducing targeted policies which deal with energy challenges.

He added that currently, government has set targets of the amount of energy which should be produced by 2040 from different energy sources but some have not tapped at. He cited Hydro power where the target is to produce 4500MW by 2040 but currently the total production stands at 1010Mw.

Geothermal is projected to produce 1500MW but nothing is going on, Solar energy 5,000MW against the current 60.8MW. Co-generation is expected to produce 1,700MW but only 96.2MW is being generated currently, Peat 800MW but nothing is being generated while nuclear energy is expected to produce 24,000MW but it has not yet been exploited.

He said it is important for Ugandans to have basic knowledge in the field of energy science, energy challenges and future prospects, fossil fuels and renewable energy resources, sustainable energy management, technology and innovation because it is the source of clean jobs that contribute to preserving environmental quality by improving energy, raw materials and water efficiency.

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