Rwanda’s energy rollout efforts received a boost following the operationalization of US $50m to catalyze the private sector’s investment in off-grid energy solutions.
The fund is managed by the World Bank and rolled out through the Development Bank of Rwanda. It is going to facilitate the electrification of about 445,000 households in the next seven years.
When achieved, this will increase electricity access in the country by about 19 per cent. The current energy access rate stands at about 40 per cent. A section of the funds will avail credit facilities to mini-grids and developers in the sector.
This intervention comes after local players in the renewable energy sector had come out seeking financing to meet national targets.
The fund will also allow a section of SACCOs, commercial and micro-finance institutions provide affordable loans to their clients to purchase certified solar systems.
According to Dr Livingstone Byamungu, the chief investment officer at BRD, the main objective of the fund is to increase affordability. It will also reduce access to finance challenges in partnership with SACCOS, commercial and micro-finance banks and mini-grid developers.
The financial institutions will be able to access direct credit. This also includes credit lines that they will, in turn, avail to households, micro-enterprises and small and medium enterprises.
The target beneficiaries are households and businesses. Its main objective is to replace the use of Kerosine, diesel and dry cell batteries.
The fund will support Tier 1 off-grid solutions that provide a basic service level such as lighting, radio and cell phone charging.
In conclusion, mini-grid developers can also get resources directly from BRD.