Rwanda: Development Bank Approves US$266-M Electric Grid Loan

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The Rwandan Government is using the initiative to expand access to electricity as part of a drive to transform the country into an export-oriented economy.

Rwanda will receive a US$266-million loan from the African Development Bank (AfDB) to upgrade the country’s electricity grid.

“The approved program will support the Government to add over 193,000 new on-grid and over 124,000 off-grid connections,” the AfDB Power, Energy, Climate Change and Green Growth Vice President Amadou Hott said.

The loan was approved by the bank’s board members for the Scaling Up Electricity Access Program (SEAP II) project to support the African nation’s electricity expansion project. SEAP II aims to improve electricity supply reliability and expand access to electricity.

The Rwandan Government is using the initiative to expand access to electricity as part of a drive to transform the country into an export-oriented economy.

The funding will be split into a US$192 million African Development Bank loan and a credit of US$74 million from the African Development Fund.

The funding will be used to construct 795 kilometers of medium voltage and 7,317 kilometers of low voltage lines. The program is expected to significantly reduce the time and frequency of service interruption to customers.

The loan is a part of AfDB’s ten-year strategy and current Country Strategy Paper for Rwanda.

In 2013, Rwanda received an investment of US$46 million for the first phase of the program, which is now 90% complete and ahead of schedule.

In the past seven years, overall access to electricity in Rwanda has increased from 18% to 44% as at end of June 2018.

The East African nation aims to achieve universal electricity access by 2024.