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REPARLE (Renewable Energy Powering Agriculture and Rural Livelihood Enhancement) is developing an off-grid electrification project in Northern Uganda that uses hybrid solar and gasification solutions to turn agricultural residues into electricity for microgrids in rural refugee and host small-holder farming communities. The electricity generated will power crop supply chain activities (including agricultural processing, irrigation, transportation services through electric vehicles and battery charging) as well as pelleting facilities to generate clean cooking fuel using Agri processing residues.

Agriculture is a significant employment driver in Uganda (80% of the population lives in rural farming communities), but its employment potential is hindered by lack of access to energy (32+ millions of people in Uganda without electricity), siloed markets, informal logistics systems, limited water, and outdated infrastructure. As a result, farmers are restricted from growing many high-value crops, often suffer from price exploitation due to lack of competition, and are forced to rely on harmful, polluting and expensive systems. Throughout its solution REPARLE is addressing these challenges by providing sustainable, reliable and affordable energy and processing services to empower rural communities on a resilient and long-term perspective.

The PREO funding will help the company to upgrade its infrastructure at three of the existing sites by installing a Pellet factory, agro-processing facilities as well as mini-grid powered EVs to transport agricultural residue to the briquette making factory, and agricultural produce to the processing unit. REPARLE will also upgrade the power supply at its agricultural processing unit through solar PV, install charging stations for the EVs, and set-up a digital system to manage biomass collection and briquette sales.

Their objective is to build a circular economy where agricultural waste is purchased from refugee and host small-holder farmers to be used as biomass feedstock to generate electricity and clean cooking briquettes.  This project also aims to increase the value of locally produced agricultural products through agro-processing. This will in turn increase the income of local farming communities, and reduce the reliance of communities on external aid, free-up time for productive uses, support local economic development and increase market access of agricultural products.


Zembo Motorcycle

There are more than 700,000 motorcycle taxis, commonly known as “boda boda”, in Uganda, representing one of the fastest growing sectors in the country. Boda bodas are the main form of transportation for most people in the region for several reasons: affordability, the ease with which they move through dense traffic, and limited public transportation. Boda bodas provide an important form of income for 5% of the population and are often the only available and affordable transport in rural areas.

However, a new model of motorcycle taxis powered by electricity offers a game-changing innovation with both economic and environmental advantages. Not only do they improve the revenues earned by drivers due to their lower energy and maintenance costs, but they also reduce pollution by cutting emissions and noise.

Zembo (Zero Emission Motorcycle Boda) is a start-up company that provides sustainable mobility solutions for Africa. Zembo’s electric motorcycles and network of solar charging stations have been revolutionising the boda boda market in Uganda since 2019. With PREO’s support, and co-funding from GIZ Zembo has extended its off-grid solar station network to peri-urban and rural Uganda, along the Masaka Road, a major 120km highway connecting the capital city of Kampala to the southwestern town of Masaka. This is the first intercity route with a dedicated charging infrastructure for e-vehicles in Africa.

The PREO grant fund has enabled Zembo to operationalise the e-corridor by recruiting drivers, training them, and financing the sale of e-bikes in the catchment area of the corridor. The grant will also enable Zembo to expand its fleet by 6 e-motorcycles for every off-grid station that serves local villages and surrounding areas, thereby creating long-term additional revenue for drivers and so significantly impacting their household income.

The new infrastructure will especially impact low-income boda boda drivers whose daily revenue is typically €5. By going from Kampala to Masaka (120km) on an electric bike, a driver will save around 3€ of petrol and 276 kg of CO2 per trip.

This project will be key to proving that e-mobility can be scaled further in the country and across Africa.