World Bank Boosts Electricity Access in Rwanda

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Minister of Finance and Economic Panning, Claver Gatete and World Bank Country Manager for Rwanda, Yasser El Gammal today signed a $50 million Scaling-Up Energy Renewable Program. 

An extra 1.5 million Rwandan homes will get connected to electricity before the end of 2018 under a new deal signed between government and the World Bank.

The Ministry of Finance and the World Bank group signed today a $50 million (rfw 37 billion) deal under the Rwanda Renewable Energy Fund Project (REFP) to increase access to electricity in rural areas.

“The objective is to increase electricity access in Rwanda through off-grid technologies and facilitate private-sector participation in renewable off-grid electrification” said Claver Gatete, the Minister of Finance and Economic planning.

As part of the Rural Electrification Strategy introduced last year, the REFP will provide   445,500 new off-grid connections which will give about 1.8 million homes access to off-grid electricity by the end of 2018.

According to the Finance Ministry, the project will support establishing Renewable Energy Fund that will help in addressing financial issues hindering installation and distribution of renewable energy in Rwanda.

The fund is to be hosted in the Development Bank of Rwanda (BRD) which in turn will permit commercial Banks and competent Savings and Credit cooperatives (SACCO’s) to provide loans either to small businesses or households, for solar systems purpose.

“I hope that Renewable Energy Fund becomes a vehicle to crowd-in resources to the off-grid electricity sector, attracting financing from both private sector and development partners,” Said Yasser El-Gammal, World Bank Country Manager.

Under the Energy Sector Strategy Plan developed under EDPRS II, government aims at connecting 70% of households to electricity. 48% of households were set for ‘on-grid’ connections while 22% was set for ‘off-grid’ connectivity.

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