The Government of Rwanda and the World Bank have signed a $48.9 million financing agreement for the Scaling-Up Energy Renewable Program that will enable Rwanda to increase electricity access through off-grid technologies.
The Rwanda Renewable Energy Fund Project will provide 445,000 new off-grid connections, giving access to 1.8 million people who will use electricity for the first time and saving them from expensive and harmful fuels such as diesel, kerosene and dry cell battery currently in use.
The agreement is also expected to facilitate private sector participation in renewable off-grid electrification.
Yasser El-Gammal, World Bank Country Manager for Rwanda said, “I hope that the Renewable Energy Fund becomes a vehicle to crowd-in resources to the off-grid electricity sector, attracting financing from both private sector and development partners.”
By allowing savings and credit cooperatives and commercial banks to open local currency credit lines to provide loans for solar systems purchases, the project will enable them to gain knowledge and experience about lending in a new sector to support further investments.
It will also enhance collaboration between Rwandan financial institutions and the private sector to ensure quality provision of off-grid services and provide direct financing to qualified mini-grid developers.
The agreement was signed by El-Gammal and Rwanda’s Minister of Finance and Economic Planning Claver Gatete.