07 August 2013, Kigali — The Rwandan government and the African Development Bank, AfDB, have signed an agreement worth US$41.5 million (Rwf26.9 billion) to scale up energy access projects in the country.
According to Claver Gatete, the Minister for Finance, the financing which comprises a loan of US$23.4 million and a US$17.9 million grant will be used to upgrade Northern energy projects of Gifurwe to 10MVA, as well as relocate the Rulindo substation.
“Access to electricity in rural areas is crucial and in line with our midterm development strategy. AfDB has been our partner in this through this programme,” Gatete said after the signing ceremony in Kigali.
“The project will be implemented over a period of two years and will connect 25,438 households, 179 schools, 29 health centres and 25 sector administration offices to the grid along the distribution network areas.”
The AfDB Country Representative, Negatu Makonnen, added: “The Scaling-up Energy Access Project (SEAP) will catalyse economic activity in the countryside with both SMEs and large commercial and industrial clients benefiting from the reliable electricity supply.” The Energy Water and Sanitation Authority (EWSA) maintains its target is to connect 70 per cent of Rwandan homes to electricity by 2017.
According to Director General of EWSA, Ntare Karitanyi, the target will be achieved through several ongoing projects, such as the 25 megawatts (MW) KivuWatt project of methane gas expected next year and small micro hydropower projects of six megawatts being commissioned gradually since two months back. Others are 28MW Nyabarongo Power Project to be ready by early 2014 and a new 15MW peat power project among others.