Rwanda gets $150m World Bank loan to develop energy sector

The World Bank and the Rwandan government have signed a funding deal worth 150 million U.S. dollars toward the East…

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.

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