Rwanda to boost energy sector with independent trust

Jul 15, 2010 02:00 AM

The Investment Climate Facility for Africa (ICF), a public-private partnership established as an independent trust with a seven-year lifespan focused on improving the continent's investment climate, is set to strengthen the capacity building in Rwanda's energy sector.
This was revealed by Issa Omari, the Chief Executive Officer of ICF.

"Our Mission is to strengthen the capacity building in the energy sector so that the relevant ministry has proper legal and regulatory frame works to allow the private sector to invest in the energy sector so that they can generate, transmit and distribute electricity," he said.
"It is not about physical investments in generating, transmitting and distributing electricity, it is about building capacity within the power sector in MINIFRA (Ministry of Infrastructure), Rwanda Utility Regulatory Agency (RURA), and Rwanda Electricity Corporation (RECO) to have proper legislation and regulation to manage a competitive environment within the power sector."

Omari added that capacity building is ensured in bidding, contracting and related negotiations in the private sector so that the government can strike fair and beneficial terms and conditions on power projects. He stressed that, in the last one and half years, progress has been made in important areas of training and sustainable capacity creation by RURA, RECO and from the platform provided by MINIFRA. The CEO of ICF noted that Rwanda has traditionally depended on biomass (wood and charcoal) and hydro-electric power as a source of energy, resulting to the country having one of the highest energy costs in Africa, thus making it a less attractive investment destination.
"ICF assists Rwanda to promote friendly investment in the domain of energy. This happens by scaling up capacity in relevant technical skills in geothermal, hydro-electrical power, methane gas and petroleum," he said.

According to Eng. Colette Ruhamya, the State Minister in Charge of Energy and Water, the government has embarked on allowing the private sector to invest in power production and generation to scale up power and energy in the country, thus reducing barriers to investment and economic growth.
"Capacity building in the energy sector is a good opportunity for us because we need policies and regulatory frameworks in place in order to attract investors to come and invest in the power sector," she noted. Ruhamya stressed that other energy alternatives like geothermal, methane gas and petroleum oil are also being explored.

Source / The New Times
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