World Bank disburses US$200mn for Tanzania’s rural electrification

World Bank disburses 200m for TanzaniaThe World Bank has approved a US$200mn loan from the International Development Association for Tanzania Rural Electrification Expansion Programme

The newly approved loan for the programme aims to connect 2.5mn poor households in rural areas to the national electricity grid over the next five years. A statement released by the World Bank said that the rural electrification expansion programme seeks to build on the recent achievements accomplished in 2014 of expanding nationwide access to 36 per cent in the country.

The national rural electrification programme (2013–2022) under which the new programme is to be implemented, includes both on-grid and off-grid solutions. The programme had four priorities including the connection of new customers to the grid in already electrified settlements, new connections to the grid, electrification through off-grid investments and the development of distributed technologies, particularly off-grid solar and other renewable technologies.

World Bank country director for Tanzania Bella Bird said, “Access to electricity is critical to extend economic opportunities and reduce poverty. This programme not only offers the opportunity for many more Tanzanians to have access to power in their homes and businesses, but also enables small power producers to access finance to invest in production, including with renewable energy sources.”

The Tanzanian government is currently implementing a national energy policy, which aims to increase the country’s overall electricity connectivity to 50 per cent by 2025 and to at least 75 per cent by 2033.

The World Bank also said that under the national electrification programme, bank financing will also benefit 25,000 education facilities, 25,000 health facilities, and 150,000 businesses.

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