Rwanda and AfDB sign energy agreement

pwever flickrThe AfDB funds are expected to aid project that will boost electricity supply in rural Rwanda. (Image source: pwever/Flickr)The Rwandan government and the African Development Bank (AfDB) have signed an agreement worth US$41.5mn to scale up energy access projects in the country

According to Rwanda’s finance minister Claver Gatete, the funds, which comprise a loan of US$23.4mn and a US$17.9mn grant, will be used to upgrade northern energy projects of Gifurwe to 10MVA, as well as relocate the Rulindo substation.

Gatete said, “Access to electricity in rural areas is crucial and in line with our mid-term development strategy. AfDB has been our partner in this through this programme and we appreciate its constant support.

“The project will be implemented in a period of two years and will connect 25,438 households, 179 schools, 29 health centres and 25 sector administration offices to the grid along the distribution network areas.”

AfDB country representative Negatu Makonnen added, “The energy project will catalyse economic activity in the countryside with both small and medium scale enterprises and large commercial and industrial clients benefiting from the reliable electricity supply.”

The Rwandan Energy Water and Sanitation Authority (EWSA) said that its target was to connect 70 per cent of Rwandan homes to electricity by 2017.

EWSA director general Ntare Karitanyi said, "Our target will be achieved through several ongoing projects, such as the 25MW KivuWatt project of methane gas, which is expected to complete next year and small micro hydropower projects of six megawatts, being commissioned gradually since the last months." Others include the 28MW Nyabarongo Power Project, to be ready by early 2014, and a new 15MW peat power project among others.

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