The African Development Bank (AfDB) Group has announced the release of $180 million to Rwanda. This is a loan to finance a project to electrify rural areas, mainly in the south of the country.
Of the $180 million in financing granted to Rwanda, $140 million represents a loan from the African Development Bank’s (AfDB) sovereign window. The other $40 million is from the Growing Together in Africa Fund, a $2 billion facility funded by the People’s Bank of China (PBC) and administered by the AfDB.
The funding is for the implementation of the Transmission System Strengthening and Last Mile Connection Project (TSRLMC). This project aims to increase access to electricity in rural areas of Rwanda. It is part of the Rwanda Universal Electricity Access Program (RUEAP) which will be implemented until 2024.
Electrification of 77,400 households
Under the TSRLMC, the Rwandan government plans to build more than 1,000 km of medium voltage lines and 3,300 km of low voltage lines to facilitate access to electricity down to the last mile. It will also build 137 km of high voltage lines and six substations to reinforce the network. The project will also install or upgrade over 1,200 distribution transformers and related infrastructure.
According to the Rwandan government’s projections, the TSRLMC will provide access to electricity to 77,470 households. The project will also benefit 75 schools, eight health centers, and 65 administrative centers while providing 125 MW of clean electricity from hydroelectric plants.
Additional AfDB funding
The construction and management of the future infrastructure is expected to create 455 permanent jobs and 760 part-time jobs, 30% of which will be for women. “This project will improve the quality of life of the population by facilitating better access to education and health. It will also stimulate private sector growth, thus contributing to Rwanda’s social and economic transformation program, which aims to transform it from a developing country to a middle-income country by 2035,” said Aissa Touré-Sarr, AfDB Group Country Director for Rwanda.
According to the pan-African financial institution based in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, the recently allocated additional funding will support works in southern Rwanda, mainly in the localities of Gisagara, Huye, Nyamagabe, Nyanza, Nyaruguru and Ruhango. The project will also increase access to the grid in the towns of Nyarugege, Nyamata, and Kigali Hub “as well as in other localities in the country where increasing commercial activity has increased the demand for electricity,” the AfDB says. The TSRLMC has already secured $84.2 million in financing from the African Development Fund (ADF), the concessional lending window of the AfDB Group, in 2021. Rwanda currently has an electricity access rate of 49%, according to Power Africa.