The European Union (EU) has pledged $10m (Frw7.9b) to supply rural areas with electricity.
At the ministry of finance, on January 22, James Musoni, Rwandan minister of finance and economic planning, and Ambassador Dr. David MacRea, Head of Delegation of the European Commission, signed an agreement for a new energy programme that will cost Frw14b.
The project will be financed on an equal basis by the government and the EU.
Electricity will be supplied to rural health centres and schools through solar power and micro-hydro electricity plants.
Seventy five per cent of Rwandans live in rural areas; only one per cent of whom have access to electricity.
Speaking at the ceremony, MacRae said “access to modern energy is vital for the promotion of rural development and rural poverty alleviation. This programme will extend access to electricity to remote rural areas thus improving living conditions and the rural economy”.
The government of Rwanda has developed a five year development plan to improve electricity supplies throughout the country.
The programme will target areas of the country beyond the reach of national electricity network and will provide electricity to 25 per cent of institutions such as health centres, schools and public offices that are currently without power. The scheme will reach 350 institutions in 150 of Rwanda’s 419 sectors.
In addition, 3 MW capacity micro-hydro electricity plants will be installed at various sites serving up to 70 villages giving access to electricity to 15,000 households.
The project is funded through the ACP-EU energy facility of the ninth European Development Fund (EDF). The facility was created to boost investment in energy sector.