For the past three or four years, Rwanda has been announcing mega projects year-in year-out. Many have been witnessed as groundbreaking, with a lengthy completion period.
Others are quite short-term. It is 2020. KT Press looks at some of these projects to be watched – depending on their completion periods that is before end of this year.
No power outage in 2020
It has become a normal trend that every time it rains either in Rwanda’s capital Kigali or upcountry, Rwandans expect power outage.
In some places, power goes off for as long as an hour or more. At some point, people take to social media to accuse Rwanda Energy Group(REG) – the country’s Energy supplier of intentionally disconnecting electricity to save its infrastructure from possible damage.
Intentionally disconnecting power? No. In October 2018, KT Press asked Ron Weiss – Chief Executive Officer of Rwanda Energy Group (REG) what is behind temporary power outage in the country.
Weiss, who was appointed as REG boss in May 2017, admitted that there is an issue of power outage especially when it rains, but attributed it to ongoing transformation of the old power supply infrastructure.
He, however, in a response to KT Press during the signing of a $269 million financing loan between Rwanda and African Development Bank (AfDB) at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning in October 2018, set the deadline to end the power outage issue.
“Yes, there is power outage issues especially on our supply lines that get affected by the weather. But this is being worked on and the issue will be no more two years from now,” Weiss told KT Press on Tuesday, October 16, 2018.
80MW Gisagara Peat Plant
On January 10, 2016, Rwanda’s energy sector was boosted by the signing of a Power Purchase Agreement and a Concession Agreement with Hakan Madencilik Ve Elektrik Uretim San. TIC. A.S. to design, build, finance, own, operate and transfer a 80MW Peat power plant to produce electricity from peat extracted from the South Akanyaru Peat Prospect in Gisagara district, Southern Province.
According to the Ministry of Infrastructure, the total investment of HAKAN to this project is valued at $400 million, with construction period set for 47 months starting from the signing date.
At the time of the signing, the Ministry released a statement and said that from the Effective Date, construction of the power plant will be complete and the power is expected to come on line at the end of March 2020. Fingers crossed!
Methane Gas extraction
In 2009, Rwanda started works on extracting methane gas from Lake Kivu which stretches between Rwanda and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), as part of meeting its national energy needs.
In 2016, the country witnessed connection of 26MW to the national grid – in a project that had previously been criticized as a “failure”.
In 2018, Taylor Higaniro – head of Power Generation department at Energy Development Corporation Limited (EDCL) told KT Press that plans were underway for two investors to extract 70 more megawatts from the Lake.
According to Higaniro, Symbion Power, an American energy company signed a deal with Government to develop new 50MW. At the time of this phone interview with Higaniro, expropriation works were ongoing to pave the way for extraction process.
“From the contract we have with them, extraction works will start in August 2019,” Higaniro told KT Press then.
In addition, he said, Contour Global – another American company is preparing extraction of 20megawatts from the Lake.
Ten Sectors with no electricity to be connected by June 2020
The 17th National Dialogue Council Umushyikirano left residents of Rwanda’s remotest sectors overwhelmed.
One of the resolutions of the National Dialogue Council included connecting sectors of Cyabakamyi, Rwaniro, Mugano, Musange, Nkomane, Kibangu, Nyabirasi, Gasange, Mutuntu and Ndego to the national grid before end of June this year.
A plan to put them on the grid was revealed after citizens at the National Dialogue Council 2019, raised concerns over lack of electricity, and told the council that they lack electricity yet power lines pass above their houses.
In October 2017, Northern Province Governor Jean Marie Vianney Gatabazi took to Twitter and posted a photo of himself touring construction work of the 51 kilometer Base-Gicumbi-Rukomo road network.
At the time, former State Minister in the Ministry of Infrastructure and current High Commissioner of Rwanda to Singapore Eng. Jean De Dieu Uwihanganye said that part of the road stretching from Base to Rukomo would be up for use before end 2017.
For the next phase, he said, “Base-Rukomo will be completed in Aug 2019 while Rukomo-Nyagatare will be done mid-2021.”
In 2017, good news came to residents of Ngoma and Bugesera, two districts of Eastern Province and Nyanza district in Southern province, when the World Bank and Rwanda had signed a financing agreement to rehabilitate the 130 Kilometers of Ngoma-Bugesera-Nyanza road to connect businesses between East and Southern Provinces.
As per the plan, Infrastructure Ministry officials said works commencement for Kibugabuga-Shinga-Gasoro part kicked off in August 2019, while Ngoma-Ramiro part will start in March 2020.
Sonatubes-Gahanga-Akagera bridge road
On November 1, 2019, KT Press toured the ongoing construction works to expand the Sonatubes-Gahanga-Akagera bridge road.
Officials at the site confirmed to KT Press that works at the road, which will also connect to the new International Airport in Bugesera, are set to be complete by April this year.The road is comprised of a four-lane express way and beautification features including a separation line which will be littered with palm trees, grass and street lights.
The upgrading works for Sonatubes- Gahanga – Akagera road project will cost about $54m (Rwf48 billion).
Rwanda’s Liberation Museum Upgrade
Construction works at The Rwanda Liberation Museum in Mulindi, Gicumbi district in Northern Rwanda, will be completed in this June 2020 shortly before Rwandans mark the 26th liberation day.
This was revealed to KT Press by the Director General of Institute of National Museums of Rwanda, Ambassador Robert Masozera.
At exactly 23h37 local time in February last year, Rwandans and the world watched as Rwanda and telecommunication giant One Web launched the first ever Satellite that will connect remote schools to the internet.
The global Satellite named ‘Icyerekezo’ is a symbol of Rwanda’s commitment to build the local space industry, build local capacity, inspire the younger generation and prepare to usher Rwanda into a hyper-connected future, according to the Ministry of Information Telecommunication Technology and Innovation.
At the time the Satellite was launched, Education Minister Dr. Eugene Mutimura said; “This partnership with One-Web to use satellite technology and connect all schools is a huge opportunity to support and allow us to leapfrog the current process in bid to connect all schools in the country in the next 3 years.”
Rwf2bn Amahoro Stadium Facelift
Spectators going to Amahoro National Stadium in Gasabo district in the capital Kigali could soon get rid of extremes of weather, following an ongoing project to upgrade the 31-year-old national stadium.
Sports Ministry officials said in June 2018 that the plan was underway to upgrade the stadium, and “would not last for more than a year.”
Currently, works are undergoing at the facility adjacent to magnificent Kigali Arena.