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Rwanda Gets Boost in Ambitious Electricity Targets

by Daniel Sabiiti
6:44 pm

Minister of Infrastructure Ernest Ndayisaba(L) and the Belgian envoy to Rwanda Bert Versmessen at the launch of electricity line in Rubavu yesterday

The Ministry of Infrastructure and the Belgian embassy in Rwanda have inaugurated an energy project which will increase access to electricity for Rwandan citizens.

The electricity project funded under the Belgian development agency (Enabel) was renovated and upgraded to increase its distribution network in Rubavu from 6.6 KiloVolts to 30 KiloVolts.

The project was officially opened this Saturday March 12, 2022 in Rubavu district by the Minister of Infrastructure, Ernest Nsabimana together with the Ambassador of Belgium to Rwanda.

The upgraded network project will stabilize and reduce power outages in Rubavu District⁩ hence improve electricity services provided by the Rwanda Energy Group (REG).

Rwanda has currently reached a 68.4% access to power against the 2017 set ambitious target to have 100% of Rwandans access electricity (on grid and off grid) by 2024.

With partner’s support, Minister Nsabimana said “the Government of Rwanda is determined to not only achieve the set ambitious targets to reach 100% access to electricity by 2024, but also to scale up electricity generation and improve quality, affordability and reliability.”

The Belgian Energy support (€39M) to Rwanda has since the year 2014 enabled Rwanda to increase access to electricity through building transmission network projects to upsurge the installed generation capacity ⁦⁦in Rubavu District⁩ and other parts of the country.

The first phase kicked off in Rubavu district in the Western province with over 1,000km of electricity lines installed to service 250,000 families which didn’t have electricity in Rubavu district.

The other phases of ⁦Enabel support have connected more than 50,000 households, built more than 1000 kilometers of electrical lines and updated more than 260 Kilometers of existing networks in the ⁦East⁩ern province of Rwanda.

Bert Versmessen, the Belgian envoy to Rwanda said these are activities worth being proud of inside the bilateral relationship between the two countries.

“The Belgian Government is proud to be part of Rwanda’s transformation journey and contribute to access of electricity for all which the Rwanda has so far done a commendable job,” Versmessen said.

On the same day afternoon Minister Nsabimana visited a 56MW methane gas project which is at 70% progress. Implemented under PPP framework, once completed it will help Government to reach its ambitious goals of having 100% access by 2024.

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the global energy poverty is now concentrated in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).

Currently, around 580 million in the Africa, roughly 75% of the global total, have no electricity and a staggering 80% of the population (about 800 million people) lacks access to modern energy and relies on biomass products such as wood, charcoal, and dung to cook.

Climate activists under the Pan-African Climate Justice Alliance (PACJA) who met in Kigali last week said that deliberate actions must ensure inclusive and people-centred shift from fossil to renewable energy in Africa.

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