World Bank funds for hydroelectric project in Africa

hydroelectric Alex PolezhaevThe World Bank has approved US$340mn for a hydroelectric project that will aim to benefit 62mn people in Burundi, Rwanda and Tanzania, as part of the Great Lakes regional initiative

The initiative was inaugurated by the bank’s president and United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-moon in May 2013.

The Regional Rusumo Falls Hydroelectric Project, which has a total cost of US$468mn and an eventual 80MW generation capacity, will aim to boost reliable power supply to the electricity grids of the three countries, reduce electricity costs and promote renewable power.

The World Bank stated in a news release that the project will be expected to spur job-led economic development and pave the way for more dynamic regional cooperation, peace and stability among the countries of the Nile Equatorial Lakes (NEL) sub-region in east Africa.

World Bank director of strategy, operations and regional integration Colin Bruce said, “This landmark project will have transformational impact, bringing lower-cost energy to homes, businesses, and clinics in Burundi, Rwanda and Tanzania.

“By connecting grids, people and environmentally-sensitive solutions, the project will help to catalyse growth and encourage peace and stability in the sub-region.”

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