In the year 2000, leaders laid out an ambitious plan – Vision 2020 – to transform Rwanda from an agrarian to a knowledge-based economy. Part of the ways to achieve this was to invest in infrastructure development in order to turn around the socio-economic conditions by accelerating access to electricity by the population, improving connection to transport networks, facilitating urbanization and access to affordable housing, as well as investing in water provision and sanitation improvement. As curtains fall on Vision 2020, paving way for another equally ambitious development and transformation agenda – Vision 2050 – it is important to reflect the journey made over the last 20 years. Energy In order to achieve sustainable economic growth, the energy sector is essential as an input to the country’s development. The government has directed its efforts towards increasing electricity access with focus to grid connections and off-grid connections. Electricity generation continues to be a priority to meet demand while maintaining the 15 per cent reserve margin. The 2016/17 Integrated Household Living Survey (EICV5) results reveal that 79.9 per cent of households depend on biomass for cooking and a few others rely on other forms of fuel for cooking. In the petroleum subsector the plan is to increase the current 84million liters capacity and storage of at least three months reserve. Generation The government seeks to increase electricity generation capacity to 556 megawatts by 2024 from the current 224.58 megawatts. Among the major projects in the pipeline that will contribute, include Regional Rusumo Falls Hydropower Project, Hakan peat to Power Project, Shema Methane Gas Project, Ruzizi III Hydro Power Plant project and Nyabarongo II. Regional Rusumo Falls Hydropower The 80 megawatts Rusumo Falls Hydropower Project, worth $470 million, is shared between Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda. It is jointly funded by the World Bank and the African Development Bank. The World Bank contributed $340 million, while $130 million funding for the construction of the transmission lines and substations was contributed by the African Development Bank and extended to the three countries. The project started in March 2017 and is expected to be completed by July 2021. According to the Ministry of Infrastructure, overall project progress for the plant is estimated at 56 per cent and transmission line construction is estimated at 30 per cent. Hakan project This project is a public-private partnership project between Hakan Madencilik Ve Elektrik Uretim San and the Government of Rwanda. The peat to power project, will generate electricity from peat extracted in the South Akanyaru Peat Prospect located in Gisagara District. The plant is expected to be commissioned in June 2020 and will generate 80 megawatts. Currently construction of the project is at overall progress of 95%. Ruzizi III Ruzizi III is shared by Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The plan once constructed it is expected to generate more than 147 megawatts of electricity, which will be shared equally amongst the three participating countries with Rwanda getting at least 47 megawatts. The Project is expected to start by October 2021 and completed by October 2025. Nyabarongo II In February 2020, the Government of Rwanda and the Chinese Government signed a loan agreement worth $214 million (over Rwf200 billion) for the construction of Nyabarongo II Hydropower Project. The project is made of three main parts, namely a 43.5 MW Hydro power plant, a Substation and 110KV transmission line covering 19.2 km from the Power Plant (between Kamonyi and Gakenke districts) to Rulindo sub-station. Once completed, the plant is expected to increase the power generation capacity and further improve power stability on the national grid. Geothermal development Rwanda’s geothermal prospects lie within the western arm of the Albertine Rift Valley. The geothermal manifestations of temperatures above 100°C were identified in 1983 from both the Western Province (in Rubavu and Bugarama) and Northern Province (in areas of Kinigi and Karisimbi). Following these discoveries, a Reconnaissance Study, Surface Exploration, Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) were done. So far, exploration drilling has only been done at Karisimbi prospect with recommendations not to proceed due to limited evidence of high temperatures to generate power. Currently, there are surface exploration studies are being carried out in Gisenyi and Bugarama prospects through the support of European Union (EU). Access to electricity The current access to electricity is at 54 per cent of which on grid is at 39 per cent while off-grid energy represents 15 per cent. Rwanda targets universal access to electricity by 2024 with 52 per cent on-grid and 48 per cent off-grid. This includes all productive use areas such as industrial parks, artisan centres, trading centres, schools, health centres and factories among others. For this to be realised, a national electrification plan (NEP)—which highlights details of areas that are currently electrified and those that haven’t was developed and is presently being implemented as the electrification is rolled out country wide.. Network Rwanda’s transmission network is made of 220kV, 110kV, 70kV and 30kV. Government is currently investing in strengthening much of the network countrywide. Here are some of the existing networks: 1. Recently completed projects Kigali Ring Network (Jabana-Mt Kigali- Gahanga 110kV line): This transmission line was commissioned in March 2019 and serves the increasing demand to and from Bugesera district. Ndera Substation was commissioned in September 2018 to reduce power losses within the Kigali network. 2. Ongoing Projects Upgrade of the Rubavu network from 6.6kV to 30Kv that will strengthen the existing network. Interconnection projects, including one that stretches from Ethiopia, Kenya through Uganda and Rwanda and continues to DRC and Burundi. It is expected that once completed, these countries will be able to have power trade once the transmission and substations are in place. The Rwanda component had the construction of 286 km of 220 kV lines with three new substations (Rubavu, Bwishyura and Kibuye) and upgrade of two substations (Birembo and Karongi substations). The construction of transmission lines was completed, however, the substations connecting Rwanda to DRC and Burundi are currently under construction. These substations will play a pivot role in the management of electricity dispatching services in Rwanda and a routing node for electricity trade between neighbouring countries once done. There is a plan to rehabilitate and upgrade the old network with the aim of strengthening in order to restore acceptable quality of supply to affected areas, reduce technical losses and improve customer service. Biomass About 79.9 per cent of Rwandan households use traditional biomass fuels for cooking and heating. The overall target is to reduce the biomass dependency to 42 per cent by 2024. This will be done through key initiatives, including: Distribution LPG systems in schools through support of the European Union (EU) Training clean cooking technologies developers/producers The Climate and Environment Fund (FONERWA) plans to support REG in distributing clean cooking stoves There are plans for rehabilitating some of the non-operating biogas plants There is also a plan to set up of a Testing Lab for Clean cooking systems Private sector plan to establish LPG distribution points in Satellite centers of Muhanga, Huye, Rusizi and Rubavu. Continuous awareness campaigns will be conducted to promote the use of alternative fuels such as cooking and biogas both in rural and urban areas Nuclear energy Rwanda has started exploring prospects of nuclear energy and the Government signed an Inter-Governmental Agreement with Russian State-owned nuclear group ROSATOM in October 2019, for the establishment of a Centre for Nuclear Science and Technology in the country. Going by the agreement, the centre will feature multi-purpose sections, including Research Reactors and Lab Complex, Centre for Nuclear Medicine, Multipurpose Irradiation Centre, and Radiobiology Laboratory and Greenhouse. Other sections will include Education and Training Complex and Radiation Material Science Complex. This could benefit the health sector through medical research, energy, agriculture, security, industry and exploration, education, geology and the environment. Rural and Urbanisation sector Rwanda has seen a rapid increase in number of people living in urban areas from 8.5% in 2002(EICV 2) to 18.4% in 2017 (EICV 5) with a proportionate decrease in rural population. The government envisages to increase the population of urban settlers to 35% by 2024. The number of households living in grouped settlements both in rural and urban areas has increased from 17.6% in 2002 to 58.9% in 2017 (EICV 5) while the percentage of households living in planned settlement has tremendously increased to 61.7%. Various urban and rural settlement enabling policy, regulatory and implementation tools have already been established to facilitate the advancement of the sector where urbanization is envisioned by the government as one of Rwanda’s future drivers of growth. Investment in the sector has grown from $100 million to $480million in the last 13 years, driven by population growth, an emerging and growing middle class, increased Diaspora investment in Rwandan property markets and the government investment in infrastructure expansion and modernization of urban and rural infrastructure. Real estate Real estate development has been a key sector and a potential driver of future economic growth. The sector currently contributes more than 7 per cent to the national GDP. In 2013/2014, the sector grew by 9.4 per cent as a result of sustained expansion in private constructions and public works. The demand for housing, especially affordable housing, is on the rise. In Kigali alone, over 300,000 housing units will be needed by 2032, according to the International Growth Centre (IGC) housing study conducted in 2018. Out of that, 70 per cent would be for low and middle income communities. The government has initiated various interventions to ensure the housing backlog is reduced and access to affordable housing is improved. Affordable housing programme targets low-and medium-income communities earning between Rwf200,000 and 700,000. The principle is that a household should not spend more than 30 per cent of its monthly income on housing which applies for purchasing, renting or renting to own. The cost of houses should be in a range of Rwf10million to 35 million excluding the cost of basic infrastructure provided by the government. In a bid to unlock the housing market, the government initiated the provision of basic infrastructure subsidies to developers interested in investing in affordable housing construction. This is in addition to tax reductions/exemptions and land banking initiatives to facilitate housing developers. The Housing Finance Fund worth USD150 million has already been established to facilitate home buyers to access cheap and long term mortgages. Private Financial Institutions that participate in this program provide mortgages at 11% interest rate. Several investors in affordable housing development and manufacturing of building materials as well in new cheaper construction technologies have been attracted in the industry. In Kigali and the six secondary cities, several housing development projects in the pipeline account for over 15,000 units with the former taking the biggest share. Informal settlement upgrading As part of the strategy to maintain, improve and increase the existing housing stock, the government has embarked on upgrading of urban unplanned settlements in various cities. This is intended not only to improve the living conditions of the households through the basic infrastructure and services provided but also stimulate the real estate market to take over the opportunities to redevelop these areas mostly located in prime areas of the city with more densities. The largest ongoing upgrading project is that of 86Ha in Agatare, one of the oldest densely populated areas with a population of almost 19,000 in Nyarugenge District. Other upcoming projects include Mpazi, Nyarugenge District; Kangondo, Gasabo District and others in Secondary Cities. Urban environmental rehabilitation and restoration In a bid to restore the urban environmental and ecological systems to ensure city resilience, human safety and liveability, the government also embarked on the relocation of various development activities that occupied environmentally risky to flooding, landslides and natural disasters. In the City of Kigali alone, 7,222 activities have so far been mapped in wetlands of Nyarugenge, Gasabo and Kicukiro districts. This includes commercial, residential and other activities. Over 5,673 (78.5 per cent) activities have been removed and the process is ongoing to remove the remaining 21.5 per cent. The same exercise has been done in various cities and more efforts will continue to ensure the environmental restoration and ultimate health and safety of city dwellers and its surroundings. Secondary cities Since 2013, the government shifted its focus to promote urbanization across the country by prioritizing promotion of six secondary cities as poles of socio-economic growth in addition to Kigali City, the capital city. Rubavu, Musanze, Huye, Rusizi, Nyagatare, and Muhanga are the cities in focus. So far, the following achievements can be noticed Urban infrastructure development in the Secondary Cities (SCs) where 26Km of roads and 8.8Km of Standalone drainage) and will continue to upgrade informal settlements in SCs. Other urban infrastructure projects implemented include road infrastructure upgrading, plot servicing in all SCs; street addressing (Musanze, Nyagatare and Huye), street public lighting, piecemeal informal settlement upgrading, greening and beautification, upgrading and extension of water networks; sanitation and waste management. Establishment of Industrial and SME parks: In a bid to stimulate local economic development and job creation opportunities, industrial parks have been established and operational in 3SCs while others are being initiated in the remaining SCs. SME parks are already operational in all SCs. Currently, the Master plans for the six secondary cities are under review in order to match them with their new mandate as real engines of economic growth and the newly adopted vision, strategies and policies like the National Urbanization Policy (NUP), National Land Use and Development Master Plan to avoid overlap. Rural settlements The government has achieved a lot in as far as rural settlement and development is concerned. Following the eradication of grass-thatched houses nationwide, there has been a substantial shifted in the rural settlement pattern with focus on ensuring the settlements are integrated with other socio-economic services to enable the dwellers improve their livelihoods. These settlements are commonly called Integrated Development Program (IDP) model villages. Currently 67.2% of rural households are settled in integrated, planned and green rural settlements IDP Model Villages To ensure the model for future Rwandan villages is maintained and promoted, 213 integrated development Project (IDP) Model Villages have so far been established across the country with a plan to construct more while ensuring the sustainability of those already established. Out of these, over 60% of the IDP villages has been constructed using clustered buildings approach of 4-in-1 and 2-in-1 units with over 1,400 Households benefiting in the past 3 years. Current efforts are being directed to scale up the IDP model village development activities in all Sectors across the country with clustered buildings of 4-in-1 and 8-in-1 units to ensure efficient land use. Other planned grouped settlements have also been established leading to a total of 188,038 out of 360,000 households relocated from scattered and High Risk Zones (HRZ). Government asset management and public building construction Following the adoption of the Government Asset Management Policy and Framework in 2015, various initiatives have been recorded with visible achievements. In a bid to ensure public institutions are accommodated in government owned buildings, the number of institutions renting offices tremendously reduced and continues to as the government acquires new office buildings. An inventory study on the location, physical conditions, cost and size of all government physical assets was done. Large scale government construction projects that were managed comprised the upgrading of stadium infrastructure in Huye and Rubavu for CHAN 2016, construction of the state-of-the-art buildings namely: New Kigali Indoor Arena, Kigali Convention Centre, the new Administrative Office Complex among others Construction, rehabilitation and refurbishment of: Tri-Ministerial (MIFOTRA-MINALOC-MININTER) Building, Kigali Metropolitan Police (Kabuga Building), Rwempasha, Bweyeye, Rusumo and Buhita Border Posts and Bugesera Doplar Radar buildings are among other construction projects accomplished. Other ongoing projects under completion: National Archives Building, High Commercial Court, 3 District Stadiums in Eastern Province and Gatuna Border Posts to mention a few. To ensure health and safety of Rwandans, the asbestos removal project has successfully led to the removal and burial of 1,050,933 m2 out of 1,692,089 m2 of asbestos materials existing in the country. This is equivalent to 62% (i.e Asbestos removed from GoR buildings: 57% and Asbestos removed from private buildings: 66%) of the total amount of asbestos countrywide.