Government targets $1.5bn to electrify all households

The Ministry of Infrastructure has said that it is mobilizing $1.5 billion (Rwf1.4tn) to be able to connect all 3.8 million households to electricity by 2024.

This was revealed on Thursday during the ceremony to celebrate the one-millionth household connected to electricity, an event that was held in Kigali.

During the event, Ron Weiss, the CEO of Rwanda Energy Group (REG) recognized the one-millionth customer, Violette Mukankuranga, a resident of Mwulire sector in Rwamagana district.

As a token, she was given a cheque of Rwf100, 000.

Minister of Infrastructure Claver Gatete gives his remarks during the ceremony to celebrate the one-millionth household connected to electricity in Kigali yesterday (Sam Ngendahimana)

Mukankuranga, who will also be given another Rwf100, 000 in electricity units, lauded the government programme that is connecting rural households to electricity.

Meanwhile, during the same event, the Minister of Infrastructure said that one million household connection was a major milestone, from the 492, 641 households that were connected in 2014.

Minister Claver Gatete, explained that access to electricity increased from less than 1 per cent in 1994 to 10 per cent in 2010 and 52.8 per cent by the end of 2019.

This means that currently, 38.8 per cent of households are connected to national grid while 14.3 per cent are connected to off-grid solutions such as solar home systems and mini-grids.

“We have so far connected 1.4 million households to electricity,” he said.

Today out of 1.4 million households connected, about 400,000 are connected to off-grid solutions.

“We have the target of connecting 3.8 million households by 2024. This means we remain with connecting 2. 4 million households which requires an investment of $1.5 billion which we are mobilising,” he said.

Of the 2.4 million remaining to be connected in the five years, one million will be connected to the grid while 1.4 million will be linked to off-grid solutions.

The World Bank Country Manager, Said Yasser El-Gammal interacts with Minister of Infrastructure Claver Gatete  during the event. 

He said that in order to meet the target of 100 per cent households, various investments are being made with the great engagement of private sector.

According to the minister, the plan is by 2024 to have 52 per cent of households connected to national grid while 48 per cent will be connected to off-grid solutions.

“We are working with private sector and development partners to reach the target,” he said.

Ron Weiss (R), the CEO of Rwanda Energy Group (REG) chats with European Union Ambassador  (Sam Ngendahimana)

Some of the hydropower plants which he said will boost access to electricity include 70 MW of peat power by Hakan Company that will be availed June this year, 56 MW from Methane Gas that will be supplied by Shema Power Lake Kivu Ltd in March 2021, 80 MW that will come from Rusumo Hydropower and be shared among Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi.

They also include 43 MW that will be produced by Nyabarongo II Hydropower plant as well as 67 MW from Rusizi III Hydropower plant.

These projects will ensure that Rwanda has 550 MW by 2024.

“The government of Rwanda recognizes the vital role that electricity plays in accelerating economic development through improving health and standards of living,” he said.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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