ONE OF the major concerns cited as an impediment to the realisation of Rwanda’s development goals, as spelt out in Vision 2020 and EDPRS II, is the shortage of energy that’s badly needed to power the growing economy. Industrialists and the business community in general have decried irregular and low power supply, which is affecting their efficiency and growth.
This is a view that government shares which is why it has devised several strategies to help address the problem.
While some skeptics doubt the country’s ambitious energy projections, the World Bank has given the country a clean bill of health in terms of the capacity to meet the energy targets as envisaged in the medium term projections.
Under the second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS2), Rwanda plans to increase energy output to at least 563 megawatts which will not only facilitate private sector growth, but also have 70 per cent of the households in the country access power by 2017.
The World Bank Country Manager, Caroline Turk, told The New Times last week that with the projects in the pipeline, and the prospects of accessing affordable energy from the region, the country’s projected targets for energy are within reach.
In the medium term strategy, government has put in place specific plans for developing new sources of energy, which experts say are realistic.
And, recent reforms at the energy, water and sanitation agency might come in handy if those responsible for streamlining these functions and respective operations get it right. The key challenge however remains mobilising private sector investments in the energy sector because the government can only do so much.
Nonetheless, we should in the meantime try to save and use the little power we have efficiently and effectively, especially in domestic consumption.