Rwanda: BRD, World Bank Commence Fundraising for Ignite Power

The Development Bank of Rwanda (BRD), the World Bank, and the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) have announced a strategic fund-raising and collaboration to raise capital for Ignite Power.

Ignite Power is a Rwandan renewable energy firm with investment in solar energy. The firm also has presence in other African countries.

The new agreement is aimed at raising funds to boost the firm's capacity to provide solar solutions at the most affordable price possible to rural customers.

The intervention is aimed at increasing the section of population accessing electricity through off-grid solutions to unlock economic development potential.

Kampeta Sayinzoga, the Chief Executive of BRD said that the financing and partnership will empower Ignite to ensure affordability, reliability and scalability consequently increasing energy access to meet the government's target of universal access.

"We are pleased to make our inaugural transaction of Window 4 of the Rwanda Renewable Energy Fund with Ignite Power. We trust that this financing and partnership will empower Ignite to ensure affordability, reliability and scalability of their business model. Together we will increase energy access in Rwanda to meet the Government of Rwanda's target of universal access," she said.

Seth Merrin, Ignite Power's lead investor said that the deal is the sort of transaction that could bring the distributed solar energy sector, to scale.

Joern Huenteler, Task Team Leader of the Rwanda Renewable Energy Fund project for the World Bank said that new household connections financed under this first loan by the Rwanda Renewable Energy Fund to Ignite Power will be an important contribution towards achieving universal access to affordable and clean electricity, a prerequisite for Rwanda to achieve its vision of becoming an upper-middle-income country by 2035.

Christina Wedekull, Head of Development Cooperation at the Swedish Embassy in Kigali said that the partnership is a model of how the public and private sector can work together and how innovative instruments. She noted that there are facilities such as Sweden's guarantee facilities which can mobilize investments to increase access to affordable and clean energy for low-income households in Rwanda.

cmwai@newtimesrwanda.com

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