Mar 04, 2008 - Rwanda News Agency/Agence Rwandaise
d'Information - All Africa Global Media
Kigali - Rwanda, Burundi and Tanzania are to benefit
from an 80 Megawatt hydroelectric power project
to be built with the help of the Nile Equatorial
Lake Subsidiary Action Programme, RNA reports.
The project, which is designed to produce between
60MW and 80MW, is expected to start early next
year with the construction of the $190 million
Rusumo hydropower project on the Kagera River.
The project will be completed by 2011.
"Although the project will contribute just 80MW
to be shared by the three countries, it will impact
positively on the Kigoma region, which for years
has been using diesel propelled generators for
electricity," said Tanzania's Commissioner for
Energy and Petroleum Bashir Mrindoko, according
to The East African newspaper.
The project is being implemented by Nile Equatorial
Lake Subsidiary Action Programme, an investment
programme of the Nile Basin Initiative.
Rwanda, like all its regional partners is experiencing
power shortage owing to the booming economy and
overall climatic changes that mean dams can barely
generate enough power. Since 2005, there has been
some power from Thermal but officials say that
is not sustainable due to ever-rocketing fuel
Government is also keen to have another supply
from methane gas in Northern western Rwanda. There
are also ongoing private sector interventions
to generate electricity from wind. Last year,
Rwanda also launched what has been described as
'Africa's largest' solar power plant just outside
What is noticeable however is that programmed
power-cuts commonly known as load-shedding have
dropped dramatically. In the last two years, businesses
had resorted to generators to keep them in the
The three countries have jointly requested the
International Development Association (IDA) to
support the preparation phase of the project and
to mobilise grants and other financing for the
implementation of the project.
In 2006, the three countries signed a Joint
Project Development Agreement that commits them
to a series of milestones, including a target
date for financial closure, procedural terms for
project management, adopting a development schedule
and budget, and exploring all financing options
including private sector participation in the
The project, along with other development initiatives,
supports the broader Kagera Basin development
goal, which is to improve livelihoods in the region
through sustainable development.
A project analysis shows that outcomes at the
regional level include an increase in economic
activity, private sector development, and investments
in social infrastructure and services facilitated
by improved access to affordable electricity.
Outcomes at the project area level focus on economic
development in growth centres along the regional
transmission lines by improving access to electricity
for micro, small and medium enterprises and environmental
and social services.