Kigali, January 23, 2020 - Hon. Claver GATETE, Minister of Infrastructure, officiated the ceremony to celebrate the increase in numbers of on-grid connections which has already reached 1,000,000 households connected to the grid.
“Electricity used to be a luxury; some people never knew that they are actually entitled to have electricity in their home. That’s why in 1994, access to electricity was less than 1%. By 2010, it had moved up to 9%, and today we have reached 52% by the end of last year” said Hon. Gatete; Minister of Infrastructure. He added that today, Rwanda is aiming to reach 100% access to electricity by the year 2024.
“I want to thank our development partners who have been supporting us in this journey to make sure that every Rwandan gets electricity which is a primary need” he added.
When describing the customer, the CEO of REG, Eng. Ron Weiss said that the purpose of this event is to recognize the millionth customer and to honor REG corporates social responsibility by offering gifts to this customer.
“REG’s millionth customer ‘Agnes Mukankuranga’ was identified according to REG’s customers database system. Her house is registered under the name of her daughter Violette Mukarugambwa” he said.
From the years 1937 when REGIDESO the first company to supply electricity was started in Rwanda and 1957 when the first ever power plant was built in Rwanda up to the years 2000, access to electricity in Rwanda was being considered as a rare privilege to dwellers of big cities, with only 46,000 households with access to electricity during that period.
In 2009, a special program to roll out access to electricity (EARP) especially in rural areas was established to increase the access rate in the Rwandan community. At that time, only 6% of Rwandan households had access to on-grid electricity. Thanks to the support from the Government of Rwanda and various development partners, the program increased the access to electricity to 492,641 in 2014 and to over 1 million households connected to the grid today.
Despite the aggressive expansion of Rwanda’s electrical grid network, grid connections will take time to reach all households. Therefore, off-grid solutions, including solar home systems (SHS), will play a key role. Off-grid technologies and commercial structures have developed significantly in recent years and now present a viable alternative to grid connections. Today, over 386,000 households have access to electricity through the use of off-grid technologies.
Looking at the projection of increase of the number of households in Rwanda, around 3.8 million households will have access to electricity by 2024. This means that a total of 2.4 million households will be connected in the coming 5 years. Among these, 1 million will be connected to the grid while 1.4 million will be provided with off-grid solutions.
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