LONDON, (The Southern African Times) – The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank Group has approved $84.22 million in loans and grants to electrify nearly 80,000 rural households in south Rwanda. The project will advance the country’s goal of universal electrification and benefit small businesses and youth.
The funds comprise a loan of $36.77 million from the Bank Group’s African Development Fund and a $47.45 million ADF grant. The approval was made on 26 May.
The Transmission System Reinforcement and Last Mile Connectivity project will provide first-time electricity connection to 77,470 households to the grid, entailing the construction of 595 km of medium voltage distribution lines and 1,620 km of low voltage distribution networks in six southern Rwanda districts. The project will also see the upgrade, rehabilitation and extension of 1,720 km of low voltage network, and distribution of transformers in secondary cities with high load.
The project is expected to improve power supply reliability and stability across the country, expand electricity access and contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by enabling access to clean energy. The project is also expected to bolster education by extending students access to light for study, and benefit small and medium enterprises while enhancing job creation for youth.
The project is part of the Rwanda Universal Energy Access Program (RUEAP), which seeks among other goals, to achieve universal access to electricity by 2024. It is also aligned with the country’s long-term development framework, Vision 2050.
The project also draws from two of the Bank’s High-5 strategic priorities: Light Up and Power Africa and Improve the Quality of Life for the People of Africa.