US$ 308m to meet electrification target of 16 percent by 2012

- Govt says the plan is ambitious but achievable The Rwandan government is in high consultations with stakeholders as it struggles to meet its target of enabling 16 percent of the Rwandan population access electricity by the year 2012, the State Minister for Energy and Communication revealed yesterday.
State Minister for Energy Albert Butare (L) in the Methane Gas Plant that generates Electricity late last year. (File Photo).
State Minister for Energy Albert Butare (L) in the Methane Gas Plant that generates Electricity late last year. (File Photo).

- Govt says the plan is ambitious but achievable

The Rwandan government is in high consultations with stakeholders as it struggles to meet its target of enabling 16 percent of the Rwandan population access electricity by the year 2012, the State Minister for Energy and Communication revealed yesterday.

According to Eng Albert Butare, an estimated US$ 308million (Approx Rwf 174bn) needs to be invested to achieve this target.

Butare said that many projects are underway countrywide, to generate electrical energy and circulate it in different areas but he cautioned that more labour, materials, and financial support were needed to achieve the envisaged goal.

“It is a great plan, we need a strong workforce,” Butare said shortly after meeting government partners at Serena Hotel as he reflected on the country’s target with regards to country’s electrification.

In Rwanda’s five-year plan to develop key sectors on which development hinges, the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS), the country pledges that 16 percent of the population will have access to electricity by 2012.

He said that some of these funds have been availed and used while government hopes to successfully out source the remaining portion though he could not reveal the amount.

“There are clear commitments [by partners],” he said, revealing that government will hold a round-table with its partners next month on electrification projects.

He said that the funds needed to implement electrification projects will be provided by government, donors, and citizens who will have to pay their contributions to be connected.

During the meeting in which international donor groups, Non-governmental Organisations (NGOs), UN Agencies, and the Rwandan Private Sector were invited, it was observed that electrification projects need to involve members of the Rwandan private sector to be successful.

This comes at a time the country has embarked on promoting Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) to finance some development activities.

It was particularly observed that members of the Rwandan private sector can invest in manufacturing both poles and electrical wires and other materials that are needed during connection.

Government estimates that currently, six percent of the population in Rwanda has access to electricity.

It hopes the figure will have grown to at least 16 percent in 2012 with all administrative offices and health centres in the country connected while about 50 percent of schools will have a connection by then.

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