A total of 25,738 households in Nyaruguru and Nyamagabe districts are set to be connected to electricity by 2023 thanks to the new project to finance rural electrification.
The Government of Rwanda and the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) signed $20 million (aboutRwf19 billion) concessional loan in Kigali yesterday.
This means that Rwanda borrowed the money at an interest that is below the prevailing market rate or other conditions more generous than market loans.
In addition to connecting households, the project is expected to connect 96 productive units, including primary and secondary schools, coffee washing stations, administrative units, water pumping stations, telecom towers and markets in both district.
The intervention will increase the percentage of access to electricity in both districts from 33 per cent currently to about 52 per cent, according to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning.
Speaking after the signing of the loan agreement, the Minister for Finance and Economic Planning, Uzziel Ndagijimana, said that the project supports the national electrification strategy, which is seen as one of the drivers of Rwanda’s economic transformation.
“This project fits with our National Strategy for Transformation, which aims to increase access to electricity to 100 per cent by 2024,” Ndagijimana said.
Engineer Yousif Bin Ibrahim Al Bassam, the chairman of BADEA Board of Directors, observed that: “the project is a significant and encouraging sign of strong alliance of the cooperation between BADEA and Rwanda. We are committed to further working with the Government of Rwanda to improving the wellbeing of Rwandans and achieve more prosperity.”
Nyaruguru District Mayor François Habitegeko pointed out that the development will boost business activities in the district by enabling people to work for longer hours to generate more income.
“There are public institutions such as schools, cells, which have many services offered online, yet, you cannot use internet where there is no electricity,” Habitegeko observed.
Rwanda and BADEA cooperation spans five decades. Some of the areas that have benefited from this cooperation include agriculture, infrastructure, energy, water and transport, sectors which officials say are key to achieving ambitions under the NST1.