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Republic of Rwanda Repubulika y'u Rwanda

Infrastructure &ICT

Infrastructure

1. The Ministry of Infrastructure (Mininfra)

The Ministry of infrastructure is tasked to ensure the sustainable development of infrastructure and contribute to economic growth with a view to enhancing the quality of life of the population. To develop institutional and legal frameworks, national policies, strategies and master plans relating to transport, energy, habitat and urbanism, meteorology, and water and sanitation subsectors; To initiate programmes to develop, rehabilitate and maintain an efficient and integrated national transport infrastructure network, including roads, bridges, airports, railways, and water transportation which will contribute towards economic development and regional integration.

Website: www.mininfra.gov.rw

2. Energy Sector

The energy sector is pivotal to the Rwandan economy, given its systemic link to almost all other sectors of the economy such as transportation, housing and urbanization, manufacturing, agro-processing, mining and IT services.

A core focus continues to be on electric power supply and transmission. Electricity can be generated from a variety of technologies and natural resources in Rwanda, such as petroleum-based fuels, hydro, solar, methane gas, peat, geothermal, biomass, waste, and wind. An increasing focus is also given to energy efficiency and conservation measures, which includes both demand-side and supply-side elements.

The Energy Sector Strategic Plan scope goes beyond electricity, however, to include the bioenergy sub-sector, including bio-products, such as wood fuel, charcoal, and biogas, as well as petroleum products, such as diesel, kerosene, LPG and natural gas. At the end of 2012, electricity represented only about 4% of primary energy consumed in Rwanda. Total installed electricity generation capacity is currently 218 MW of which roughly 60% comes from hydrological resources and 40% from diesel-powered generators. The target is to reach 514 MW in 2024. 

To date, 46.46% of Rwandan households have access to electricity. These include 35.13% connected to the national grid and 11.33% accessing through off-grid solutions. The plan is to have 100% access by 2024.

Hydropower has generated the bulk of electricity in Rwanda since 1960s. Its overall potential is estimated at about 400 MW but the current installed hydro capacity is 98.5 MW. As a result of extremely low operational costs however, hydro is still one of the cheapest forms of generation in the long run.

Pilot projects have demonstrated the commercial and technical viability of extracting methane from Lake Kivu (with total resource estimated at 55bcm of Methane or approximately 700MW to be shared equally with DRC).

A Peat master plan was first developed in 1993. It indicated the potential to develop around 700MW of peat generation based on estimated reserves of 155 million tons of dry peat spread over 50,000 hectares. About 77% of peat reserves are near Akanyaru and Nyabarongo rivers and the Rwabusoro Plains. Peat is considered less risky for power generation compared to methane or geothermal, and can therefore deliver increased capacity sooner.

The government intends to provide 70% of the population with access to electricity both on-grid and off-grid by the end of EDPRS II. The priority is to extend the grid network to allow heavy users of electricity across the country to connect to the grid. To keep pace with increased demand for electricity and to facilitate achievement of EDPRS-II targets for economic growth, the government will ensure increased electricity generation capacity to a level of up to 563 MW by the end of 2017/2018.

Diversifying power generation sources and reducing diesel generation over time will enable the government to lower the long-term cost of service and gradually phase out indiscriminate subsidies to the tariff.

About the energy sector management

The electricity sector has undergone significant changes in the last 12 years. ELECTROGAZ, which had a monopoly over the production and distribution of water and electricity until late 1990s, lost its monopoly power by a law enacted in 1999. After extensive deliberations, ELECROGAZ was placed under a management contract with Lahmayer International in 2003. This ended in 2006, when the company management reverted to the Government. In 2008, ELECTROGAZ was split into the Rwanda Energy Corporation (RECO) and the Rwanda Water and Sewerage Corporation (RWASCO). These were integrated in 2011 within the Energy and Water and Sanitation Authority (EWSA). EWSA institutional reforms address historical and chronic problems such as lack of focus on planning and investment, low operational performance and transparency, and lack of autonomy over delivery. The strategic thrust of the reform measures is to restructure the company organization by ‘corporatizing’ its governance structures to inject more autonomy and accountability in management decision-making and to streamline its processes with the support of state-of-the-art modern management information systems.

a. Rwanda Energy Group Ltd (REG Ltd)

Law n°97/2013 of 30th/12/2014 prescribed the split of the Energy and Water Sanitation Authority (EWSA) in two corporations Rwanda Energy Group Ltd (REG Ltd) and Water and Sanitation Corporation Ltd (WASAC Ltd), focused on service delivery of energy and power and water and sanitation, respectively. Two companies have subsequently been created. The resulting Power and Energy Holding Company is organized in two subsidiaries:

b. Energy Utility Corporation Limited (EUCL)

The EUCL is in charge of day-to-day operations of power generation, transmission, distribution and sales to final customers. Refocusing EUCL on customer service and improving service delivery in line with quality of service parameters lies at the heart of EWSA reform. The EUCL will take charge of planning the transmission and distribution grid in areas already reached by electrification and promoting energy efficiency and demand side management programmes. New management contracts will strengthen incentives for the company to achieve aims such as cost reductions, technical and nontechnical loss reductions, and improving customer satisfaction.

c. Energy Development Corporation Limited (EDCL)

The EDCL is responsible for developing both generation and transmission projects, exploiting new energy resources, and executing a least cost power development plant. Its core objective is to facilitate the development and exploitation of domestic energy resources and investments. In pursuing this objective, it will have autonomy in managing its affairs, but will regularly report to MININFRA on progress towards set targets.

4. Transport

RTDA

Rwanda Transport Development Agency (RTDA) is a public institution with legal personality, administrative and financial autonomy. It is under the Ministry of Infrastructure responsible for managing all day-to-day aspects of the transport sector in Rwanda. It was put in place by Organic Law No 02/2010 of 20/01/2010 establishing its mission, structure and functioning.

Website: www.rtda.gov.rw

5. Housing

Rwanda Housing Authority

Rwanda Housing Authority is a public institution based in Rwanda with its head office in Kigali city. It an agency under the ministry of infrastructure, legally established by law no 40/2010 of 25/11/2010 and published in the official gazette no 09 of 28/02/ 2011.The Institution started operating in December 2010. Rwanda Housing Authority was established in order to organize the construction industry as a whole and by doing so to spur Economic Development and Poverty Reduction which guide Rwanda’s medium-term development.

Website: www.rha.gov.rw

ICT

Rwanda has the fastest broadband internet in Africa. Rwanda is also ranked the first in promoting ICT and first in internet affordability on the continent.

Currently, phone and internet penetration stands at 71.6% (2014) and 28.6% (2014) respectively. The number of mobile finance subscribers is more than 2.5 million with more than Frw 691 billion transacted (2014). The telecom sector revenues constitute 2.8% of GDP. ICT contributes 3% to GDP.

While ICT focuses on the country’s five priority sectors, namely, Governance, Health, Education, Agriculture, and Business & Finance sector; an emphasis has been put in the finance sector given the transformative power and the value it is creating in the people’s daily lives.

Some of the main projects meant to advance the ICT Sector are: Fiber Optic and 4GLTE.

Explore ‘Rwanda ICT Sector Profile’ here

1. Fiber Optic

Rwanda has completed the construction of a 4,500 kilometers fiber optic telecommunications network. The fiber was laid across the country to link Rwanda to undersea cables running along the east African coast.

The Fiber Optic project began in October 2009 at a cost of US$ 95 million (approximately Rwf 69.4 billion) and was set up to boost access to various broadband services, boost electronic commerce and attract foreign direct investment through business process outsourcing.

The national fiber optic network is connected to the undersea cable system through two major regional links, including one from Mombasa in Kenya, through Uganda. It is also connected to another undersea cable from Dar-es-Salam.

2. 4GLTE

Rwandans started enjoying the fastest internet there is, 4G LTE, after it was launched on November 11, 2014. It is a critical economic stimulus for an economy that’s increasingly becoming digitally driven.

Commonly known as 4G LTE, the 4th Generation Long-Term Evolution internet network offers the fastest wireless communication on high-speed data for mobile phones and devices such as modems and routers.

For now, 4G LTE is mostly accessible in 14 cities countrywide. The Government targets to extend its coverage to the rest of the country by 2017.

Links to some videos:

  1. Developing Rwanda's ICT Sector: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JR7uoEB8TAA
  2. Rwanda's Infrastructure Sector: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fiJ5XqTYHYg
  3. Rwanda’s ICT Sector: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oDzqtlVxkcs

 

 

 


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