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The government of Rwanda has signed a €229.20 million ($265 million) funding agreement with the African Development Bank to support the country’s programme to improve electricity supply and expand access to electricity under the Scaling Up Electricity Access Program Phase II (SEAP II).

This operation builds on the successful implementation of the SEAP approved by the bank in 2013 with a combined estimated €39.74million ($46 million) loan and grant.

The bank’s contribution to SEAP-II will be for the three fiscal years ending in 2021/22 and will be disbursed using the Results Based Financing (RBF) instrument, which ensures better risk management and the country’s highly developed results-driven approach.

The funding will support the construction of 795 km of medium voltage and 7,317 km of low voltage lines, boosting nationwide connectivity and lighting up previously unserved communities.

This support will be extended to the Energy Development Corporation Limited and Energy Utility Corporation Limited – subsidiaries of Rwanda Energy Group Limited, the government-owned utility which manages and operates the country’s energy infrastructure.

Reliable electricity supply

The programme is expected to result in significant reductions of time and frequency of service interruption to customers and network losses and will ultimately contribute to ensuring the financial sustainability of the country’s energy sector.

In the last seven years, overall access to electricity in Rwanda has more than doubled from 18% to 44% at the end of June 2018. Read more: EDCL intends to build LV and MV transmission lines

The country has also shown a strong commitment to achieving universal electricity access by 2024, using a combination of on-grid and off-grid solutions like solar home systems.

“The approved programme will enable the government to add over 193,000 new on-grid and over 124,000 off-grid connections,” said Amadou Hott the Bank’s Vice President for power, energy, climate change and green growth.

The bank’s intervention will improve the reliability of electricity supply, increase on-grid and off-grid access to renewable energy for households and commercial usage, and strengthen institutional capacity to deliver on the ambitious government energy program.

Slightly over 4,000 people, 30% of them women, will receive technical, financial management and safety training.