Africa Energy: AfDB to provide €229m for Rwanda electricity programme

The Rwandan government has signed a €229.20-million funding agreement with the African Development Bank (AfDB) to support the country’s electricity supply improvement programme and expand access to electricity under the Scaling Up Electricity Access Program Phase II (SEAP II).

This builds on the successful implementation of the SEAP Phase I, which was approved by the bank in 2013 with a combined estimated €39.74-million loan and grant.

The latest approved funding includes a €165.59-million loan from AfDB and €63.61-million from the African Development Fund, the concessional arm of the bank group.

The two loans represent 8.2% of the Rwandan government’s estimated €2.85-billion budget for the Energy Sector Strategy Plan. It is the biggest single operation of the bank to enable the government to achieve its National Strategy for Transformation that, among other objectives, seeks to ensure that, by 2024, all Rwandan households, health centres, schools and business enterprises are connected to reliable electricity.

AfDB’s contribution to SEAP II will be for the three fiscal years ending in 2021/22 and will be disbursed using the results-based financing instrument, which ensures better risk management and the country’s highly developed results-driven approach.

The funding will support the construction of 795 km of medium-voltage and 7 317 km of low-voltage transmission lines, boosting nationwide connectivity and lighting up previously unserved communities.

The programme is expected to result in significant reductions in the span and frequency of service interruptions to customers and network losses and will ultimately contribute to ensuring financial sustainability of the country’s energy sector.

In the last seven years, overall access to electricity in Rwanda has more than doubled from 18% to 44%.

The country has also shown strong commitment to achieving universal electricity access by 2024, using a combination of on-grid and off-grid solutions, such as solar home systems.

“The approved programme will enable government to add more than 193 000 new on-grid and more than 124 000 off-grid connections,” said AfDB power, energy, climate change and green growth VP Amadou Hott.

The bank’s intervention will improve reliability of electricity supply, increase on-grid and off-grid access to renewable energy for household and commercial use, and strengthen institutional capacity to deliver on the ambitious government energy programme.

The SEAP II loan is aligned to the AfDB’s ten-year strategy (from 2013 to 2022) and current Country Strategy Paper for Rwanda.

Following the signing of this facility, the bank’s energy portfolio in Rwanda will increase from €158.95-million to €388.74-million, supporting eight operations, three of which are being implemented jointly with neighbouring States. source: miningweekly

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