NIR colleagues Annie Ross and Lauren McIntosh visited Uganda to meet with NIR:s local partner Uganda Electricity Generation Company Limited (UEGCL) to support their plans for a floating solar park on a dam reservoir along the Nile River. NIR will provide capacity development to UEGCL through the Sustainability Impact Accelerator (SIA) programme to strengthen UEGCL’s capacity to take on this novel technology and implement a sustainable project.

NIR was joined by its technical advisors, Tom Walsh and Benjamin Mategeko from Renetech AB, which is a great example of a consultancy from the Swedish resource base that has knowledge of and experience in renewables and East Africa. NIR works in close collaboration with the Swedish Embassy in Kampala, Swedfund and Business Sweden to support the project. By providing UEGCL with targeted capacity development alongside a technical feasibility study that will be provided by Swedfund, UEGCL’s capacity to design and procure a sustainable and bankable project is increased.

Thank you to all our partners and foremost the Swedish Embassy in Kampala, which made the successful visit possible despite challenges during the ongoing pandemic. It is very encouraging that NIR can continue its development cooperation and support forces for sustainable development – now more urgent than ever.

Read more about the programme here.



lack of enabling environment for social dialogue at the workplace level, despite the provision of legislative acts that protect and promote workplace cooperation is a reoccuring issue  in Kenya. To implement good policy there must be a fertil ground.

Therefore SWP developed the UP!  project. Together with Swedish companies as an entry point, and with unions i South africa and Kenya. 

In Kenya SWP created the SWP UP! Programme targeting skills development of the union Shop Stewards from 18 companies in the Automotive sector in Kenya during 2021. As a result, the Stewards were able to use their skills to build trust and cooperation with management in new ways to avoid conflicts. 

A second cohort of training, in close cooperation with union AUKMW, takes place in 2022.

The training allows shop stewards to step out of their daily routines and understand their role and the purpose of their union, understand the labour market context, the laws that regulate relationships and the business itself. But on a human level, many shop stewards also highlighted that they feel respected as human beings, and that they have developed the skills to engage with supervisors and management and experience respect in professional relations. The experiences had deeply impressed them and helped to project the vision of dialogue and mutual respect and their own potential as a means to change workplaces.

The intervention of the SWP programme had a direct effect at the workplaces, where shop stewards listed several cases where they had managed to intervene and secure results in dialogue with management, avert crises or find solutions based on opportunities and the communication skills obtained during the SWP training. For the Amalgamated Metal Workers Unions in Kenya, the shop stewards pointed to how the training had enabled them to design their own strategies at the workplace in relation to supervisors and staff, and to achieve many concrete results.

Based on this shop steward upskilling, I feel confident that as a union we now have change ambassadors that will grow the industry, protect, and promote decent work principles for both the employer and the employees represented. And that disputes will be dealt with at the workplace level by though consultative dialogue.

Rose Omamo

General Secretary
Amalgamated Union of Kenya Metal Workers