Belgium grants Rwanda €12.7 million to boost electricity rollout

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Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Claver Gatete, and Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium to Rwanda Arnout Pauwels, after signing the agreement.

Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Claver Gatete, and Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium to Rwanda Arnout Pauwels, after signing the agreement.

The government and the Kingdom of Belgium has signed a grant worth 12.7 million Euros (Rwf 10.3 billion) that will see 6,873household access on-grid electricity.

The agreement according to Amb. Claver Gatete, Minister of finance and economic planning will go to extending access lines to households, enterprises as well as public infrastructure such as schools and health centers.

“This will ensure continued focus on increasing the number of electricity connections through the national grid extension with the construction of new distribution lines connected to the national transmission network,” he said during the signing.

He adds, “This grant will help to improve access to reliable on-grid electricity services and ensure a reliable energy supply as prerequisite for Rwanda’s development.”

The grant is part of the €160 million four year Indicative Cooperation Program between Rwanda and Belgium to which €55 million was earmarked for energy. The cooperation between the two countries has been in existence for more than 50 years. Kingdom of Belgium has supported Rwanda in sectors such as energy, health and decentralization.

Currently, the country’s electricity penetration stands at 24 percent while the government has a target to leapfrog it to 70 percent by 2018 through both extension of the access as well as production.

Arnout Pauwels, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium in Kigali said the overall objective of the support is the provision of sufficient, reliable and affordable energy for all Rwandans

“This is another step in our partnership and we will continue to support Rwanda in its efforts towards economic growth”.

It is estimated that 6,873 households will be connected. The target groups of beneficiaries are households, enterprises and public infrastructures such as health facilities, schools and administrative offices.

Moreover, the funding comes at the time when Rwanda Energy Group-REG’s is in efforts to repair its   networks which are currently causing hiccups in access to electricity.

REG officials says that this support will ensure continued focus on increasing the number of electricity connections through the national grid extension with the construction of new distribution lines connected to the national transmission network.

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Olive Ndaka is the Junior Editor for RwandaEye. An investor and young entrepreneur, she is a quick learner and has contributed many articles for RwandaEye in Kinyarwanda.

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