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PRESS RELEASE July 7, 2017

Government of Rwanda and the World Bank Sign Agreement to Increase Access to Electricity Through Off-grid Renewable Energy

KIGALI, July 7, 2017 -- Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Claver Gatete and World Bank Country Manager for Rwanda, Yasser El Gammal today signed a $ 48.9million Scaling-Up Energy Renewable Program financing agreement to help the government of Rwanda increase electricity access through off-grid technologies and to facilitate private-sector participation in renewable off-grid electrification.

In support to the recently approved Rural Electrification Strategy, the Rwanda Renewable Energy Fund Project will help provide 445,500 new off-grid connections which will give about 1.8 million people access to off-grid electricity. These new consumers will use electricity for the first time and move away from expensive and harmful fuels such as diesel, kerosene, and dry cell batteries. The project will also ensure Savings and Credit Co-operatives and commercial banks gain knowledge and experience in lending to a new sector which can then support further investments.

The Rwanda Renewable Energy Fund Project t will assist the Government of Rwanda establishing a Renewable Energy Fund which will be hosted in Development Bank of Rwanda allow qualified Savings and Credit Co-operatives and commercial banks to open local currency lines of credit to provide affordable loans to their customers - both households and small businesses, for solar systems purchases. It will also facilitate collaboration between Rwandan financial institutions and private sector to ensure quality provision of off-grid services and provide direct financing to qualified mini-grid developers.

I hope that the Renewable Energy Fund becomes a vehicle to crowd-in resources to the off-grid electricity sector, attracting financing from both private sector and development partners,” said Yasser El-Gammal, World Bank Country Manager for Rwanda.

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