Africa-Europe Alliance for Sustainable Investment and Jobs: EU supports economic development and sustainable energy in Rwanda

Today sees the inauguration of a new electrical substation in Rwanda, which was supported by the European Union, as well as private sector investors. This is a leading example of how cooperation with the private sector can unlock Africa’s economic potential, as set out in the Africa-Europe Alliance and the European External Investment Plan. The launch of the substation in Mount Kigali will increase Rwanda’s energy system efficiency as part of wider grid connectivity improvements.  

Commenting on the opportunities for both the EU and Africa, European Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, said: “Part of an EU-funded project worth €23 million, this new electrical substation in Mount Kigali is concrete proof that our ambitious approach works: We can support sustainable development and improve the quality of electricity supply, while at the same time boosting economic development, investments and jobs. This is what our Africa-Europe Alliance as well as the EU’s External Investment Plan are all about”.

This substation is part of an ambitious project to improve the efficiency of the Kigali ring, a high voltage 110 kilovolts (kV) line. With a budget of €23 million, the project includes the design, supply and construction of 3 substations: Jabana 1, Mount Kigali and Gahanga. The substations will contribute to improve the transmission of power around Kigali and reduce grid losses. 

Sustainable energy is a priority area under the EU’s partnership with Rwanda. With an overall budget of €200 million for the period 2014-2020, important results have already been achieved in this sector. By 2020, important results are expected on connectivity, quality and renewable energy, such as at least 135 000 new connections to the grid, some 150 000 new off-grid connections, 85 000 new households using improved cooking methods and 400 GWh generated from renewable energy sources.  Furthermore, Rwanda has already benefitted from blending of EU public funds with investments in the energy field, such as the hydro-power plant Ruzizi, while other opportunities are set to follow. 

These opportunities will be further boosted by a €5 million agreement signed today in Kigali to identify initiatives that create economic opportunities and attract large investments.

During an official visit to Rwanda, the European Commission’s Director General for International Cooperation and Development, Stefano Manservisi, inaugurates the new electrical substation in Mount Kigali together with the Rwandan Minister of infrastructure, Claver Gatete

Director General Manservisi met several Rwandan Ministers and his agenda included as well a meeting with Rwandan innovators at the Westerwelle Startup house, a visit to an EU-funded project focused on supporting youth in the informal sector, a lecture at the University of Kigali, a visit to the Genocide Memorial and a working breakfast with European companies present in the country. 

Background information

Rwanda is an important beneficiary of EU support, which has led to tangible results for the population. Between 2014 and 2020, €460 million of EU funds have been allocated, mostly for sustainable energy, sustainable agriculture and food security, and accountable governance, the 3 priorities of EU support in the country. 

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