Speaking at an Infrastructure Partnerships for Africa Development Forum, minister of infrastructure of Rwanda, James Musoni emphasised his optimism for the Rwanda energy sector, East African Business Week reported.

Rwandan village‘This Forum is aimed at discussing in details Rwanda’s energy sector with particular focus on key investment opportunities in the country’s dynamic and thriving energy sector’, he said.

Government bodies are optimistic that they will reach their goal of connecting 70% of the population to the grid by 2017.

It is crucial for the country to install and upgrade infrastructure as this will reduce the country’s overall business costs. These development plans are one of Rwanda’s ‘six pillars’ which complete their vision for 2020, Business Week reports.

With the population growing at a steady pace it is imperative for a sustainable power supply.

‘This is why there is need for safe, reliable and cost effective energy in the country…

Government of Rwanda through the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) has embarked on a deliberate process to streamline power sector investment processes and procedures intended to attract private sector investment into the sector’, Musoni said.

Rwanda’s energy strategies for 2013/18 projects projected that 563MW of renewable energies will contribute to the energy demand. Resources include hydro, methane, geothermal, peat to power, and solar as they want to eliminate thermal power from the energy mix within the next 2 years, Business Week said.

‘This is why the government plans to achieve additional 408MW compared to the 155MW in less than 4 years’, the Minister said.

To support their 70 percent electricity access target, the government is looking at importing/exporting from the East African Power Pool members, which in turn will build power trade relationships, Business Africa reported.

CEO of Rwanda Energy Group Jean Bosco Mugiraneza said that results from a conducted survey on electricity infrastructure were reflecting negatively on the country’s willingness to drive positive social and economic development.

‘Access to affordable and modern sources of energy is therefore essential to the achieving of rapid economic growth, rural development, productivity and youth employment’, Mugiraneza said.

Rwanda has a very attractive offering in place for business opportunities and investment, which has landed them the reputation as having the ‘best business environment’, Business Week said.

Francis Gatare CEO Rwanda Development Board said that the country’s GDP had potential to increase and the private sector can assist this.

‘Gross investment percentage of GDP in our country is still at 24% of the GDP of the country and this is because the country still has plenty of space especially for private investment into the country’s economy’, he said.