Rwanda Focus (Kigali)

9 January 2014

Rwanda: China Boosts Rural Electrification Drive

The Chinese government has given Rwanda a timely boost of solar equipment worth RWF 427 million to the Energy, Water and Sanitation Authority (EWSA) to increase access to electricity in the rural parts of the country.

The solar kits are planned to be installed in at least 400 hundred households in the Southern, Northern and Eastern provinces of the country.

The households were selected based on the National Electrification Plan (NEP 2013-2018).

Speaking at the official handover ceremony, the Minister in charge of water and energy, Emma Insumbigabo, noted that such needed equipment will help the government reach its rural electrification goals by 2017.

"The solar kits will boost rural energy accessibility and ultimately improve the well being of the rural population," she stated.

The equipment received consists of solar modules, cabinets, and light wires. As part of the installation process, a team of Chinese experts have been dispatched to conduct training on the installation, operation, and maintenance of the donated equipment.

The Chinese ambassador Shen Yongxiang stated that the donation was a fulfillment of the country's pledge to support the Rwandan government with a batch of solar equipment.

The request was made under the framework of "eight new measures to strengthen China-Africa cooperation announced in the fourth ministerial conference between China and Africa (FOCAC) held last year.

The country plans to obtain 18.5 MW of their projected 563 MW of additional electrical power from solar by 2017.

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