Rwanda promises access to electricity to over 6 million citizens by the end of the financial year

 

The Rwandan government has recently signed new contracts with energy agencies across the country in order to reach their target of an additional 6% of Rwandans connected to a power supply by the end of the financial year. This would increase access from the current 45% to 51%.

Electricity is the backbone of every country, as without it businesses would be unproductive, schools couldn’t teach and the economy would grind to a halt. Everyone across the world needs access to power in order to live their lives, and Rwanda is on the right path to securing it for all of their citizens.

Their target means that over 134,000 new households will be connected to the national grid and a further 68,000 households will be connected to off-grid power supplies.

Rwanda currently only produces 209MW, mostly from hydro and thermal power, leaving over 8 million out of the 12.5 million Rwandans without any form of electricity.

The government is heading in the right direction with a pledge to transform itself into a middle income country with universal access of electricity for all of its citizens by 2024. The plan is to split electricity access to 52% being connected to the grid and the further 48% rural communities being connected to off-grid technology.

However, Rwanda is six years off of its target for universal access to electricity, but more investment is required to strengthen their transmission networks to eradicate power outages, and more investment is required for power generation to connect an additional 8 million citizens to the grid.

By building more power plants, Rwanda would exceed its target of 512MW base-load power supply by 2024, and by focusing on cheaper reliable sources of power, this would enable the government to reach their target of universal access before 2024. However, without any further investment, Rwanda will be left behind compared to its neighbours in sub-Saharan Africa.