There is still a need for $600 million (over Rwf610 billion) to ensure 100 percent access to electricity for the entire country’s population by 2024, according to Ron Weiss, Chief Executive Officer of Rwanda Energy Group (REG). He addressed the need while EDCL-a subsidiary of REG- was appearing before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) as part of the ongoing public hearings related to the findings contained in the Auditor General’s report of 2020/21. Weiss said that currently the government has got $680 million from different development partners to implement ongoing different projects aimed to increase access to electricity, adding however that there is need for doubling the money. “Currently, access to energy is at 73 percent and we are remaining with 27 percent to reach 100 percent by 2024.The current projects can bring us to 80 percent access to electricity. The main challenge is to get the full budget. In order to implement the remaining 20 percent, we still need another $600 million,” he said. He said REG is working together with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning and Ministry of Infrastructure on different proposals on how to avail the budget. “To deliver on projects, we also are taking contractors that are performing well and giving them more projects, and those not performing well will not continue with us,” he noted. Despite Covid-19 disruptions, different projects were at good progress. “These last two years of Covid-19 were not easy in the energy sector and also in other sectors that are implementing projects. Contractors had difficulties to meet deadlines, to buy materials and others during project implementation. “Also, the chain of supply to bring materials from different parts of the world was not easy due to lockdowns. The cost of transport increased significantly. However, we managed to implement some projects,” he said. Some of the affected projects include 80MW Regional Rusumo Hydropower Project where Covid-19 has affected the importation process especially for the construction materials needed to the part of powerhouse downstream walls in addition to the contractor who delayed works even when Covid-19 eased, he revealed. The project which started in 2014 is a joint project of Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania. It was funded by the World Bank to a tune of $340 million. The initial project duration was 36 months, from February 13, 2017 to February 13, 2020. However, up to the time of the audit in September 2021, one year and six months after the projection completion date, the project was still work in progress according to the Auditor General Report ending June 30, 2022. REG and EDCL officials told PAC members on Wednesday that the progress is at 98 percent and works will be complete within two months.