AfDB pledges US$40 million to boost electricity coverage in Rwanda

AfDB pledges US40 million to boost electricity coverage in RwandaThe African Development Bank (AfDB) has recently signed an agreement with the Rwandan government to give the country US$40mn for the expansion of its electricity network

According to the AfDB, the money will go towards construction of a 119km transmission line from Rusumo Power Plant to Birembo substation in Kinyinya, Gasabo district.

Negatu Makonnen, Rwanda country representative at the AfDB, said, “This support is going to contribute a lot to Rwanda’s aim of achieving sustainable growth plus it will facilitate economic transformation of the country.”

Rwanda is currently able to provide 17 per cent of households with electricity access but the target is to raise this to 70 per cent by 2018, the AfDB said.

The plan is to gradually provide the industrial sector and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) with adequate but cheap electricity vital for growth, the bank added.

Gatete Claver, Rwandan minister of finance and economic planning, said, “More employment opportunities will be created with easy access to electricity, plus off farm jobs, which will contribute to industrial development plus reduced production costs because of a reduction on electricity tariffs.”

The AfDB supports Rwanda with the Electricity Access Rollout Program, with funds equivalent to US$43mn.

The bank is aiding 23 further projects, mainly infrastructural, at a cost of US$500mn, covering 60 per cent of the projects’ financing.

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