Mbae Ariel Mutegi

In East Africa, Tanzanian energy and minerals minister, Sospeter Muhongo, and Rwanda’s minister for infrastructure, James Musoni, last week attended the unveiling ceremony of the Rusumo Falls hydroelectric power plant.

The hydropower plant includes the construction of transmission lines at a cost of $121 million to link the national grids of Tanzania, Burundi and Rwanda, Tanzania Daily News reported.

The three countries will each have a share of 26.6MW from the 80MW that the hydropower plant will generate.

According to media, Muhongo described the power project and transmission lines, whose completion is scheduled for 2020, as among solutions to power shortages facing the three countries. Read more…

“The transmission system will play significant role in boosting electricity trade in the region and Africa as a whole through interconnection routes from North and South Africa power pools,” he said.

Tanzania’s electricity access rises

On the same note, the minister revealed that access to electricity in Tanzania has more than doubled, from less than 30% to 67.3% during the past decade.

“At 97.3% access in urban areas, Tanzania is among few African countries to record high achievement as per global standards,” he said.

Muhongo further revealed that access to power in rural areas also improved from just 2% in 2007 to 47.5% at present.

Lower power tariffs

Meanwhile, the World Bank country director for Tanzania, Burundi, Malawi and Somalia, Bella Bird, said that the project will boost installed electricity capacity of the respective countries at cheaper costs. Read more…

“Electricity to be generated from Rusumo will be charged at $6 cents, reducing the costs which have been incurred from other sources like fossil fuels.”

Bird also stated that the share of energy generated is set to improve Burundi’s installed capacity by almost 50%, media reported.

It is reported that she expressed delight that the regional project will provide greener source of energy for the three countries and broaden social and economic uplift to the people.

Also speaking at the ceremony, Musoni instructed the contractors undertaking the project to adhere to quality and timely completion of the scheme.

 

Featured image: Cassia Lodge