, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 28 – The energy sector in the East African region has received a boost after the African Development Bank (AfDB) released Sh8.4billion to support Rusumo Falls Hydropower Project to increase renewable power generating capacity and access to electricity in Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi.
The Rusumo Falls project in Rwanda will have an 80 Megawatts hydropower generation plant, transmission lines and substations.
Beneficiaries of the project include the households, industries, Small and Medium Enterprises and businesses in the three Countries who will gain access to cheaper, more reliable and clean electricity.
Construction of the transmission facilities is expected to be completed by August 2018 and the three countries will share the power generated equally.
The project is also expected to enhance the process of regional integration by the countries developing and managing the joint assets.
“Rusumo Falls is one of many projects financed by the AfDB in response to a crisis in low-energy access rates, limited infrastructure development in the region and regional projects that enhance regional stability through increased cooperation and integration among countries,” the AfDB’s Director for Energy Alex Rugamba explained.
“We are looking to leverage Africa’s natural assets for universal access to modern, reliable and affordable energy services on the continent,” he added.
Rwanda and Tanzania will be able to displace some of the energy generated from high cost imported fuel with cheaper hydropower thereby reducing the current electricity tariff.
In the case of Burundi, the project will provide 50 percent of the current’s peak power demand, which will allow the country to expand access and other economic activities, and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
The AfDB’s support to the Rusumo Falls project has spanned several years.