World Bank has signed a credit agreement worth USD 125 million with the Rwandan government with an aim to cater to electricity services and its expansion. The East African nation looks forward to providing electricity access to 61 percent of the households by the completion of 2020.
The new Rwanda Energy Development Policy Operation is the third and last of the USD 375 million programme series aimed at supporting the East African country's energy sector objectives contained the National Strategy for Transformation, as reported by The New Times.
The agreement between the government of Rwanda and the World Bank has highly contributed to developing the country's energy sector mainly in the area of access, Uzziel Ndagijimana, the current minister of finance and economic planning said. "The support through Development Series Operation has significantly contributed to the implementation of the energy sector development strategy in Rwanda with the aim of having 100 percent access by 2024," the minister added.
Yasser El-Gammal, the World Bank Country Manager for Rwanda recently revealed at the signing ceremony (took place in Rwanda's capital, Kigali) that the amount was already put to right utilization with previous development policy operation series having already delivered results. "So far, new connections completed per year have doubled while total access has increased from 41 percent in late 2017 to over 52 percent today," El-Gammal added.
According to the new "World Bank Rwanda Economic Update, Lighting Rwanda", the country's power sector has rapidly grown in the last 10 years, from 10 percent in 2009 to more than half of households currently. Outages have become shorter and less frequent, the result of large investments in the sector, the report revealed.
"Rwanda has become a front-runner in the effort to provide affordable, reliable and sustainable electricity to all citizens in Africa. The challenge over the next five years will ensure that the electrification program remains affordable to the government," El-Gammal said in the report.
The National Strategy for Transformation intends to provide universal access to reliable electricity by 2024. The government of Rwanda actually understands the vitality of electricity access in boosting economic development, as well as improving health outcomes and standards of living for citizens.
The East African country has attracted a number of private companies to invest in the electricity sector, especially in power generation and off-grid electrification. The government also inserted numerous reforms transforming the electricity company into a commercially-operated, state-owned enterprise, and the private sector has emerged as a strategic investment partner.