Twenty – One thousand households in the Eastern province of Rwanda are scheduled to get electricity under the existing Electricity Access Rollout Program (EARP)— government’s program of extending electricity to all Rwandans.
Through EWSA the country plans to increase electricity access by up to 35 percent to achieve the economic growth it needs by 2020.
Incidentally, the government of Rwanda and the government of Belgium on February 15, 2014 signed a financial agreement of €22 million, where €17 million will partly be used to fund electricity access in three districts of Gatsibo, Kayonza and Kirehe in the Eastern Province.
While € 5 million (Approximately Rwf 5 billion) will be allocated to capacity building intervention of strengthen the functioning and performance of the electricity utility within EWSA.
It will mainly focus on operations and maintenance of electricity infrastructure, management and support functions as well as staffing and competence development.
According to the Minister of Finance and Economic planning Claver Gatete, access to energy is one of the government’s priorities as it is one of the main drivers of the economic development.
He further noted that capacity building was integral to the process as it will take multiple forms like coaching and mentoring, industrial attachment and medium and short term technical assistance
“The Government is engaged in an ambitious programme to organize state institutions and public administrations for better delivery of services to the population.
This involves the need to address capacity challenges in terms of human resources and institutions,” Minister Gatete said.
The Belgian Minister for Public Enterprises and Development Cooperation Jean Pascal Labille noted that provision of cheap, reliable and renewable energy will contribute to attracting the necessary private investments and reduce operational costs of business and the create of jobs.
“I am satisfied with the implementation of the ongoing cooperation program between Rwanda and Belgium and happy that now nearly all interventions in Belgian priority sectors health, energy and decentralization are in a more or less advanced preparatory phase,” Minister Labille said.
In 2011, The Kingdom of Belgium and Rwanda also signed four-year cooperation Agreement (2011-2014) for a total amount of 160 million EUR for the three priority sectors of social and economic development of Rwanda such as health, energy and decentralization.
EARP and STEG, Tunisia projects that work with EWSA in electricity distribution in Eastern province have also pledged to supply electricity to 50, 000 residents of Rwamagana and Kayonza districts.
The two organizations have supplied electricity to over 10,000 residents in districts such as Kayonza and Rwamagana districts.