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More than 22,000 households in the Eastern Province were connected thanks to the Belgian Kingdom’s support to Rwanda’s electricity access rollout program

On Friday 17th May 2019, in Rwamagana District, Hon. Claver GATETE, Minister of Infrastructure, together with the Ambassador of Belgium to Rwanda His Excellency Benoit Ryelandt and the President of Board of Directors of Enabel Jean Van Wetter, officially inaugurated the completed electrification projects in the Rwamagana, Kayonza, Ngoma and Kirehe Districts funded by the Belgian Kingdom. These projects have already connected to the grid more than 22,000 households in the four Districts. 

The Belgian Kingdom has been supporting Rwanda’s energy sector, since the year 2000, through different grant agreements which have greatly contributed to the current status of the sector in Rwanda. The Belgian Kingdom’s support has contributed in increasing access to electricity in Rwanda, developing Rwanda’s transmission network, increasing the installed generation capacity as well as strengthening the institutional and human capacity to realize the priority goals of the energy sector. 

Some of the infrastructure developed thanks to the Belgium support include the rehabilitation of the 30kV Kabarondo – Kayonza – Kiziguro MV line, construction of 30kV Medium Voltage line of 84km from Kigali to Kiyumba, construction of micro hydropower plants of Rukarara 2 (2.2MW), Keya (2.2MW), Nkora (0.3MW) and Cyimbiri (0.6MW).

Since 2014, the Belgian Kingdom has been supporting the national Electricity Access Rollout Program (EARP) through the project “Improving Access to Reliable On-Grid Electricity Services for households and Priority Public Institutions”, implemented by Energy Development Corporation Ltd (EDCL), a subsidiary company of the Rwanda Energy Group (REG). Through three signed Grant Agreements, the Belgian Government has provided a total of Euro 39,000,000 to improve access to reliable electricity. 

To date, a total of 22,387 new connections have been made to the national grid in 4 Districts of the Eastern Province namely Rwamagana, Kayonza, Ngoma and Kirehe. About 5,446 more connections will be added by the project by December 2020. In addition to this, about 280km of the single-phase network in the Eastern Province will be upgraded to three-phase network whereas the distribution network in Rubavu will be upgraded from 6.6kV to 30kV. 

The Minister of Infrastructure, Claver GATETE appreciated the achievement of both projects and said that they will boost the economic development in the Eastern Province. 

“We are very grateful for the support from the Belgian Kingdom and other development partners that support Rwanda’s development agenda in many sectors. Such projects will help us achieve our economic development goals.“ Minister added. 

“Modern energy services not only provide lighting needs; it creates new markets and opportunities, helps businesses to grow, creates jobs and contributes to ensure more inclusive society. This inauguration marks another milestone of successful Belgo-Rwanda partnership to ensure affordable and reliable modern energy services to as many as over 22,000 households, local business, public and social institutions in the eastern province region, eventually contributing to the GoR’s universal access target by 2024” said His Excellency Benoit Ryelandt, Ambassador of Belgium to Rwanda. 

“Rwanda’s impressive growth in terms of pace of electrification in such short span of time serves a good lesson to many countries who aspire similar feats” said Jean Van Wetter, President of Board of Directors of Enabel, the Belgian development agency through which the support was channeled. 

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