Uganda’s Off-Grid Appliance Market
In continuation of the Efficiency for Access country profile series, this report sheds light on the off- and weak-grid appliance market in Uganda.
Uganda’s electrification rate is growing rapidly, but 59% of Ugandans still do not have access to electricity. This number is even lower when we look at the rural population where only 32% of people have electricity access. This large off-and weak-grid population, a sharp increase in mobile money operations in the region, and one of the largest established markets for component-based solar energy systems all provide a strong foundation for growing appliance sales in Uganda.
Insufficient data about off-grid appropriate appliances makes it difficult for manufacturers, policymakers, distributors, mini-grid operators, investors and other market actors to make informed decisions and identify high quality, efficient products. To help address this challenge, Efficiency for Access has worked to gather data on the availability of off-grid appropriate appliances in key countries.
Since 2018, Efficiency for Access has been conducting market scoping surveys in 10 countries. The Off- and Weak-Grid Appliance Market Country Profile for Uganda explores the overall market landscape in Uganda, the common power type, size, price, and warranty of off-grid appliances sold in retail markets, and other findings relevant to sector stakeholders working in Uganda. The profile summarises data collected through market scoping surveys conducted in local retail shops, testing results of products sampled from the market in Uganda, and interviews with interviewed a range of stakeholders. For the first time, the Uganda Country Profile also analyses the types of plugs and connectors sold with products, a key consideration for interoperability.
The market surveys found that there is a strong market for DC-compatible solar appliances in Uganda, with a relatively wide variety of products sold compared to other surveyed markets in Sub-Saharan Africa. TVs are the most widely distributed and popular appliance, while the market for fans, refrigerators and solar water pumps (SWPs) is still relatively immature. While nascent, there is a promising market for productive use equipment, such as refrigerators, solar mills and SWPs, due to Uganda’s large agricultural sector. Field consultants also noted that counterfeit versions of popular solar brands are a problem in Uganda, and the detection of these counterfeit products is becoming increasingly complex for shop owners.
Read the full country profile here to learn more.