Kigali, November 05, 2022 – Rwanda celebrated the increase of the number of households having access to electricity, which has already reached two million. The celebration took place in Nyabugogo Cell, Kigali Sector, Nyarugenge District.
Electricity plays a vital role in accelerating economic development through improving health and standards of living. Energy and particularly access to electricity is Government’s key priority.
Therefore, significant investments have been made and progress registered led to the increase of households accessing to electricity with the Government target of Universal access by the year 2024.
Access to electricity has increased from 2% in 2000 to around 74.5% today, including 50.9% households connected to the national grid while 23.6% are using off-grid solutions including inter-alia standalone solar home systems and mini-grids.
From the years 1937 when REGIDESO was established in Rwanda and 1957 when the first ever power plant was built in Rwanda up to the years 2000, access to electricity in Rwanda was being considered as a rare privilege for those living in cities, with only 46,000 households connected. In 2009 a special program to roll out access to electricity especially in rural areas was introduced to increase the access rate in the Rwandan community.
At that time, only 6% of Rwandan households had access to on-grid electricity. The program enabled to increase the number of connections to 492,641 five years later and to around 1,4 million today.
Despite the aggressive expansion of Rwanda’s electrical grid network, analysis has shown that grid connections will take time to reach all households. Therefore, off-grid solutions, including solar home systems (SHS) were introduced to increase access to electricity in areas located far from the grid and now present a viable alternative to grid connections. Today, more than 640 thousand households are connected through off grid solutions.
The current electrification plan leading Rwanda to universal access shows that by the year 2024, around 70% households will be connected to the grid while around 30% will be using off grid solutions.
“Though a lot has been achieved, we still have a long way to go to ensure 100% access. 25% to be connected in two years is still a big number, but we assure that this is achievable, and we’ll meet again in 2024 to celebrate this.” Said Mr. Ron Weiss, the CEO of REG during the celebration.
In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Infrastructure, Mr. Fidele Abimana, said that this is a big step towards the journey to achieve the country’s electrification targets.
The fact that we have reached two million households with electricity, shows us that if you take five people per household on average, we would have approximately 10 million Rwandans who have access to electricity. Aiming for one million in the two years we have left, there is no doubt that by 2024 we will have achieved it. The Sustainable Development Goals say that the access to electricity of all people should be achieved by 2030, and Rwanda is determined to achieve it by 2024.” He added.