By Jedida Barasa

Efforts to increase electricity access in Rwanda have received a boost of US$ 84 million in loans and grants from the African Development Bank (AfDB) Group.

The money will be geared towards electrifying 80,000 rural households in South Rwanda as part of the Rwanda Universal Energy Access Program (RUEAP), which seeks among other goals to achieve universal access to electricity by 2024.

The Transmission System Reinforcement and Last Mile Connectivity project will provide first time electricity connection to 77,470 households to the grid.

The project entails the construction of 595km of medium voltage distribution lines, 1,620km of low voltage distribution networks in 6 Southern Rwanda districts and the upgrade, rehabilitation and extension of 1,720km of low voltage network and distribution of transformers in secondary cities with high load.

The project is expected to improve power supply reliability and stability across the country, expand electricity access and contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by enabling access to clean energy. The project is also expected to bolster education by extending student access to light for study and benefit small and medium enterprises while enhancing job creation for youth.