In East Africa, Rwanda has secured funding to facilitate its efforts in achieving 70% electricity access to the population by 2018. This is a 47% increase from its current 23% access rate.
BizNis Africa reported on Thursday, that the East African region, together with the Climate Investment Funds (CIFs), commemorated the earmarked funds for the country’s renewable energy sector.
These funds will be mobilised through the efforts of the CIF’S dedicated fund for Scaling Up Renewable Energy in Low Income Countries Programme (SREP).
The SREP will inject $50 million, which will assist in developing a financially sustainable market for the private sector in Rwanda.
Developing the off-grid electricity market
The SREP funds are targeted towards developing and expanding the off-grid electricity market.
Zhihong Zhang Senior SREP Co-ordinator said: “Rwanda has a very ambitious target of electrification through both on-grid and off-grid solutions. SREP support will target the development of off-grid energy markets to help bring electricity to unserved communities in rural areas, create employment opportunities and generate income.
“SREP funding can act as a catalyst and will help improve the enabling environment conditions to unlock and systematically scale-up private investments.
He added: “About 1.5 million Rwandans are expected to benefit from the SREP program.”
Stimulating private sector appetite
Robert Nyamvumba, Director of the Energy Division from the Ministry of Infrastructure in Rwanda commented on the benefits of the endorsement.
“This endorsement will help to unleash the potential of the private sector to provide off-grid energy solutions using renewable energy sources.
“SREP funding will mean many Rwandans living in rural areas will have access to energy and improve their lives through development activities as well as create an enabling environment for businesses in the communities.”