The number of people connected to electricity in Rwanda has increased threefold over the last seven years. This is according to Prime Minister Anastase Murekezi.
Murekezi said that the number of people connected to power has increased from 10.8% in 2010 to the current 34.5%. He said currently Rwanda has 208.36MW of hydro power and 98.68MW from solar, methane gas, peat and generators.
In the last seven years, the energy supply increased from 97MW in 2010 to 208.36MW in 2017.
Although the Government had given itself a target of increasing energy levels to at least 563MW and to supply it to 70% of the population, achieving this required a whopping $3.2BN. In the last seven years, the energy sector has had a budget of about $1.7BN. The Government is now partnering with the private sector to fix the financing challenge.
Other challenges include lack of adequate and timely reparations in the areas where activities connected to energy are taking place.
Another challenge is that many people live in scattered settlements, making it hard for the Government to collectively connect them to electricity. Only 55.8% of Rwandans live in organized settlements, commonly called the Imidugudu.
Various members of parliament in Rwanda called for investing in the youth for maintenance work as a means of cutting costs and creating more jobs and sensitization of masses on how to cut down on energy wastage.
The importance of coordination during the tree planting exercise and erecting electric poles was also highlighted because there are times when they collide they have to end up cutting the trees yet it can be avoided.
There was also general appreciation from the locals for the connectivity. The locals, especially upcountry, are now happy that they finally have electricity. However, the performance contracts of districts, are very ambitious compared to the budgets of the stakeholders from the private sector, making it impossible to supply more electricity to more people.