1 January 2013

Rwanda: 70 Percent of Citizens to Have Access to Electricity By 2017

The national utility company, Energy Water and Sanitation Authority (EWSA), has unveiled the target to connect 70% of Rwandan homes to electricity by 2017.

The goal will be achieved by a number of different projects already underway as well as additional projects.

The Director General of EWSA, Yves Muyange, said they expect to connect 100,000 households to the national electric grid annually to achieve the target. He also said that access to electricity increased from six percent of the population in 2008 to 16 % in 2012.

For Rwanda to achieve its vision of connecting half of the population to electricity within the next five years, current connection activities must be tripled. According to EWSA, the infrastructure and resources are in place to ensure that the target is achieved.

Last month, Prime Minister Pierre Damien Habumuremyi told parliament that the government intends to engage the private sector through public-private partnership to ensure that Rwanda generates at least an additional 1,000 megawatts of electricity.

"Out of the 1,000MW, 320 MW will come from hydro power, 300 MW from methane gas, 310 MW from geothermal and 200 MW from peat energy sources," the Prime Minister said.

Increasing access to electricity is among the government's key priorities, considering the expansion of the electricity grid to be one of the engines of development. The government plans to invest US$4.7 billion to achieve its objective.

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