Burundi to receive $190m for increased electricity access

A new project funded by the World Bank will support increased access to electricity in Burundi and help improve the performance of the country’s energy sector.

The project is expected to benefit approximately 2.4 million people, 1,200 public institutions and 6,000 small and medium-sized businesses and industries through new or improved access to electricity.

“This project will support key reforms through performance-based conditions on tariff structure, electricity connection policy and network standards to remove barriers to electrification and ensure the long-term viability,” said Hawa Wagué, World Bank Representative in Burundi.

According to the World Bank, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) will work as one World Bank group and provide a set of solutions that will facilitate the mobilization of investments.

With funding of $190 million ($100 million from IDA* and $90 million from other donors, including the European Investment Bank, the European Union, and Agence Française of Development), the project will target female-headed households as well as micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs), helping them benefit from access to reliable and affordable electricity, providing opportunities to increase productivity and create jobs.

“Significant private capital to support an innovative approach aimed at improving the living conditions of millions of people in Burundi,” said Hawa Wagué, World Bank Resident Representative in Burundi.

This is part of the World Bank’s ASCENT (Accelerating the Transformation of Access to Clean and Sustainable Energy) regional initiative, which supports access to electricity for 100 million people in East Africa and southern region by 2030.

The World Bank indicated that the poor quality of electricity services is undermining opportunities for economic growth in Burundi and a lack of investment has undermined efforts to expand access to electricity.

The Burundi ASCENT project will support the Government of Burundi’s Universal Access Program, launched in 2023, and strengthen the medium voltage network across the country while rehabilitating, modernizing and expanding the Bujumbura distribution network.

To accelerate efforts to expand access to electricity, the Government of Burundi will work in partnership with the private sector to support grid electrification of peri-urban and rural areas.

The project will support a distribution pilot project led by Weza Power, a newly created private company which has signed an Interim Public Partnership Agreement with the Government.

The project will also improve the reliability and quality of the network and strengthen the basic infrastructure to deploy the next phases of the access program, and will also support the viability of the electricity sector through technical assistance to certain government entities.

The project is expected to complement the ongoing National Solar Energy in Local Communities Project (“SOLEIL-Nyakiriza”), which aims to develop decentralized solar solutions.

Source: World Bank


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here