- Media Center
- Press releases
- OPEC Fund’s US$20m loan will increase energy access in Rwanda
OPEC Fund’s US$20m loan will increase energy access in Rwanda
The OPEC Fund for International Development (the OPEC Fund) has signed a US$20 million public sector loan agreement with Rwanda to increase access to energy for around 270,000 people in the Muhanga, Kamonyi and Gakenke districts.
Despite significant poverty reduction rates over the past decade, rural poverty in Rwanda is pervasive, owing to low access to public services, particularly power. The loan is expected to help nearly double the electrification rates in the three target districts. The electricity access rate in rural areas is about 15 percent, compared with about 76 percent in urban areas. The government of Rwanda’s National Strategy for Transformation aims to make Rwanda among the first countries in Africa to achieve universal electrification.
The OPEC Fund’s loan contributes to the Rwanda Universal Energy Access project and is funded in partnership with the Saudi Fund for Development (SFD). Specific works include the installation of 520 transformers and 1,600 km of power lines. The project is part of a wider international multi-lender initiative in support of the government’s strategy. The initiative has so far secured about US$670 million in financing from the World Bank, the French Development Agency AFD (Agence Française de Développement), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the European Investment Bank (EIB), as well as from the SFD and the OPEC Fund.
OPEC Fund Director-General Dr. Abdulhamid Alkhalifa said: “The OPEC Fund supports Rwanda’s aim to become one of the first sub-Saharan Africa countries to achieve universal energy access, which is at the heart of its National Strategy for Transformation. The present project, when completed, will help stimulate economic growth and reduce poverty by boosting livelihoods and creating jobs, as well as improving the delivery of social services.”
The OPEC Fund has supported development in Rwanda since 1976. During this time, more than US$200 million in public sector finance (including the present loan) has been committed, primarily for transportation, water and sanitation, and energy, as well as to support businesses in sectors most affected by COVID-19. Private sector lending of US$25 million has also been extended in support of small- and medium-sized enterprises in Rwanda.
The OPEC Fund supports projects that align with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The new loan contributes most directly to progress on Sustainable Development Goal 7: ensuring access to affordable and clean energy for all.
About the OPEC Fund
The OPEC Fund for International Development (the OPEC Fund) is the only globally mandated development institution that provides financing from member countries to non-member countries. The organization works in cooperation with developing country partners and the international development community to stimulate economic growth and social progress in low- and middle-income countries around the world. The OPEC Fund was established by the member countries of OPEC in 1976 with a distinct mandate: to drive development, strengthen communities and empower people. Our work is people-centered, focusing on financing projects that meet essential needs, such as food, energy, infrastructure, employment (particularly relating to MSMEs), clean water and sanitation, healthcare and education. To date, we have approved more than US$25 billion for operations in well over 100 partner countries. Our vision is a world where sustainable development is a reality for all.