10 January 2013 – Burundi’s energy and mines minister Come Manirakiza has said that with only 10% of the country’s population having access to electricity this rate was very low compared to other East African Community (EAC) members. EAC’s other members are Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya.

As part of efforts to reduce the energy deficit Manirakiza says Burundi plans to install two solar plants in Bujumbura City and Gitega province in the central part of the country by the end of 2013.

He told Africa Review that Burundi is a country with an energy challenge, adding that its hydropower potential was 1,700 MW of which only 32 MW was being exploited.

“Development of the energy sector would open up tremendous opportunities for investors in the country.” Burundi is party to the Eastern Africa Power Pool (EAPP), which has an interconnection plan for eastern Africa to all the way to Egypt.