AfDB Approves $180m Loan to Back Rwanda’s Energy Project

ADDIS ABABA – The Board of Directors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) on Tuesday approved two loans amounting to $180 million to co-finance a major energy project in Rwanda.

The energy scheme, fully known as Financing for the Transmission System Reinforcement and Last Mile Connectivity project, aims to extend electricity access to rural parts of the country, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

This follows the 26 May 2021 approval for $84.2 million from the resources of the African Development Fund (ADF), the concessional window of the AfDB Group, for the same project.

The project comprises $140 million from the AfDB sovereign window and a $40 million co-financing from the Africa Growing Together Fund (AGTF), as well as resources from the ADF.

The project will entail the construction of over 1,000 km of medium voltage; 3,300 km of low voltage lines; 137 km of high voltage line, and six substations required to strengthen the grid.

Other features of the project include the installation or upgrading of more than 1,200 distribution transformers and related infrastructure, according to the Bank.

It will also connect 77,470 households to the electricity network for the first time, in addition to 75 schools, eight health centers and 65 administration centers.

“The rationale for the Bank’s intervention is to support the country’s pursuit of 100% access to electricity by 2024,” said Aissa Tour-Sarr, the AfDB’s Country Manager in Rwanda.

As of March 2022, the African Development Bank has financed over $1.4 billion worth of projects in Rwanda, of which $498 million has been directed towards energy project projects.