The State Minister for Energy and Water, Collette Ruhamya, has urged African countries, especially in the eastern region, to interconnect their energy resources in order to increase electricity supply in the region to achieve their development targets.
Addressing the East African Power Pool (EAPP) conference in Kigali yesterday, Ruhamya observed that several countries would not achieve their development targets if access to electricity is not improved.
“When electricity interconnections are in place, the energy supply situation is improved and people in the region are empowered, just like the matured power pools in Western Africa and Europe have proved,” Ruhamya said.
She added that although the electricity coverage in Rwanda is still very low compared to other Sub-Saharan countries, the government had undertaken several projects with the aim of increasing electricity access to at least 35% by 2020.
“The government is developing local resources like methane gas from Lake Kivu and hydropower from Rusumo Hydropower plant. We are also collaborating with Burundi and DRC to develop the Rusizi III and Rusizi IV hydropower plants which will serve the three countries,” Ruhamya added.
The Director General of Rwanda Electricity Corporation (RECO), Yves Muyange, said that the EAPP had started interconnection projects with member countries which several donors are already funding.
“A new facility has recently been commissioned here in Kigali as a new national substation with the capacity to absorb all interconnection projects. Other participating countries have similar projects whose planning and implementation can be shared within EAPP to foster a positive regional power trade,” Muyange said.
The East African Power Pool is an institution of COMESA with a membership of 8 countries, whose main objective is to pool together all available electrical energy resources in the region to make electricity available and affordable in Eastern Africa.