Over 450,000 Rwandan households are expected to get power in the next five years following the launch of Rwanda Renewable Energy Fund project on Tuesday.

The project worth 50 million U.S. dollars is funded by the World Bank.

The fund is intended to increase off-grid solar energy access through private participation with end-users being citizens who do not have power, mostly in rural areas.

Rwanda’s on-grid access was estimated at 29 percent, and off-grid access at 11 percent as of August, 2017, according to a Rwanda Energy Group report.

The project will be implemented by the Development Bank of Rwanda (BRD), according to a statement released at the launch from the BRD.

The funding will be channeled through credit and savings schemes (SACCOs), commercial and Micro-Finance banks that are expected to provide affordable credit to their clients to purchase solar systems as part of efforts to promote off-grid energy solutions.

Speaking at the launch event in Rwandan capital Kigali, World Bank country manager Yasser El Gammal said the funding would boost rural electrification efforts in the East African country.

“It is expected to stimulate demand by providing financing to households and small business through financial institutions near them that they already have relationships with,” he said.

He said there is also a window to support private sector and providers of mini-grids to further boost their capacity.

Livingstone Byamungu, the Chief Investment Officer of the Development Bank of Rwanda, said the target beneficiaries include households and business with the project primed to replace the use of paraffin candles in lighting. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh


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