The World Bank and the Rwandan government have signed a funding deal worth 150 million U.S. dollars toward the East African nation’s affordable energy ambitions, an official statement by the bank obtained by APA Saturday in Kigali said.The funding is part of the Rwanda Energy Access and Quality Improvement Project which is tailored to advance Rwanda’s progress towards achieving UN Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7) to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
The funds will go into ongoing programmes of expanding grid connections for residential, commercial, industrial, and public sector consumers, as well as by providing grants to reduce the costs of off-grid solar home systems.
The initiative also aims at reducing reliance on cooking fuel by 50 per cent.
Rolande Pryce, the World Bank Country Manager said that the funds seek to support the country’s goals of universal energy access by 2024 as well as universal access to clean cooking by 2030.
“The proposed project is well-timed to build on the World Bank’s decade-long support to the Government’s energy sector agenda. It will contribute directly to Rwanda’s push toward universal energy access by 2024 and universal access to clean cooking by 2030,” she said.
The support is part of the World Bank’s three year Development Policy Operation (DPO) series project worth 325 million dollars, a continuation of the World Bank’s current financing in the energy sector in Rwanda worth 386.7 million dollars, according to the lender.
The program supported by the DPO series is based on a clear set of reforms that will help Rwanda lay the groundwork for successful energy sector development during the implementation of the National Strategy for Transformation for the period of 2017 to 2024, he said.
The proposed operation supports the Rwandan government in taking many of reform measures, initiated in previous World Bank operations, forward in a structured, pragmatic and transformative manner, it said.
Rwanda targets to increase electricity production both on and off grid to ensure that all households have electricity by 2024, from the current 22 percent, Rwandan Prime Minister Edouard told the parliament in September when presenting the government’s development strategy up to 2024.