KIGALI - Rwanda has one of the highest electricity tariffs in the region, according to the electricity tariff study report conducted in the past six months by a group of international experts from Economic Consulting Associates (ECA) Limited.
This was revealed yesterday in a forum that aimed at validating the draft electricity tariff study report in Kigali.
The study was commissioned by the Ministry of Infrastructure in conjunction with the Investment Climate for Africa (ICF).
According to the report, ordinary Rwandan customers pays Rwf 132 (22 USc) per/kWh plus VAT.
The study also shows that some of the East African countries like Kenya and Uganda charge low electricity tariffs. In Kenya ordinary customers pay approximately Rwf 90 (16USc) / kWh) and Uganda approximately Rwf 100 (17 USc/) per kWh.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Infrastructure, Marie Claire Mukasine, said that they are looking for a tariff structure that will propose modalities for affordable tariffs for low income, low electricity consuming households as well as preferential tariffs for industries that are strongly supporting the economic growth of the country.
“The study is very important in the growth strategy of the government and a sound tariff level will ensure sustainability of our programmes and the financial health of the utility through cost-recovery,” she said.
“It will be crucial to give private investors clear indications on the government’s perspective on tariffs and to have clear and transparent tariff setting mechanisms in place”.
Mukasine stressed that it is crucial to ensure that end-user tariffs charged to RECO’s (Rwanda Electricity Corporation’s) customers will actually match RECO’s revenue requirements and will provide them with the necessary resources to continue with an ambitious electrification programme.
She added that the Government is putting a lot of effort into the development of energy projects as well as electricity generation and access projects in particular, that are considered a high priority and are crucial to powering the social and economic development of the country.
According to Francois Regis Gatarayiha the Acting Director General of Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Agency (RURA), the report needs to be reviewed so that they come up with transparent and affordable tariff rates.
“As regulators we are going to study the report and regulate tariffs that favour consumers and the ones that don’t make service providers make abnormal profits,” he said.
Paul Lewington, Director of ECA and one of the experts who did the study, said that high tariffs limit expansion of industry and make electricity unaffordable.