Kigali — The World Bank Board has approved a US$60 million loan to Rwanda meant to finance electrification and increase access among Rwandans.
The loan financing will be provided by the International Development Association (IDA), the Bank's fund for the World's poorest countries to which Rwanda is still a beneficiary despite registering reducing poverty levels tremendously recently.
The loan will be an additional funding for the Government of Rwanda's Electricity Roll-out Access Program (EARP) which is supported by the World Bank.
According to sources at EWSA, the government electricity distribution agency that is implementing the program, EARP is projected to increase the total number of electricity connections from 110,000 in 2009 to 350,000 by the end of 2013 with a special emphasis on connecting social infrastructure such as health facilities, schools and administrative offices.
Rwanda's Finance Ministry has backed the development saying the loan approval will provide the financing required to maintain the EARP's momentum as the Government of Rwanda continues to mobilize additional resources.
The EARP is a multi-donor program jointly financed by the African Development Bank, Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa, Belgium, European Union (EU), Japan, Netherlands, and OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID) as well as Saudi Fund and the World Bank, which have jointly, managed to mobilize $348.2 million for the initiative.
Among the key components of the program is the grid roll out to reach out to more people especially in the country side as well as another component, the green connections whose aim is to connect new users to the national grid.
It also aims at reducing the cost of electricity to users so that they can sustainably maintain the resource.