KIGALI - The African Development Bank (AfDB) has added a 2 million-dollar grant to help in coordinating the interconnection of electricity networks between member countries.
This is part of efforts to ensure successful implementation of the USD 250 million energy project involving countries in the Great Lakes region.
The grant follows the launch of the 4-year project which will be implemented by the Nile Equatorial Lakes Subsidiary Action Program (NELSAP) involving Nile equatorial lakes countries such as; Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi and DRC Congo.
Shortly after the signing of the protocol agreement with Nile Basin Initiative, Diko Mukete, the AfDB Resident Representative in Rwanda, pointed out that the Bank’s support to the energy sector in the NEL countries is intended to enable economic growth and poverty reduction in the region.
“Electricity supply is indispensable for improving the competitiveness and social development of the region, so this program is imperative,” he said.
He also pledged the bank’s close partnership with NBI in implementing the project, adding that it is key in pursuing regional integration.
“This is imperative in meeting the goals of regional integration and enhanced cooperation for economic and social well being of the people in this region and the continent at large”.
The NBI Executive Director, Henriette Ndombe, welcomed AfDB’s gesture.“It is timely and has come at a time when the project has to be implemented,” she said.
Ndombe further revealed that if this project is successfully implemented, the electricity shortages experienced in the member countries will be a thing of the past.
“We are confident that the project will contribute to regional integration and facilitate sharing the energy resources in the region,” she said.
The power interconnections between these countries will enable sharing of energy between them, a position which will ease the process of exportation and importation of energy amongst the member countries.
The project task manager, Emmanuel Nzabanita, noted that member countries won’t have to suffer anymore if their counterparts have energy because this interconnection will provide an answer.
He added that with the inclusion of Ethiopia, which has over 3000 megawatts on top of the already existing capacities, there will be sufficient energy to share between member countries.