Tanzania: World Bank Supports Tanzania’s Rural Electrification

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Arusha — The Tanzania government has received a financial package of USD 200 million from the World Bank (WB) loan to boost rural electric connectivity.

The World Bank board of executive directors approved the financing for the Tanzania Rural Electrification Expansion Programme from the International Development Association (IDA). The new financing is a big boost to the project that is expected to connect up to 2.5 million households in rural areas to the national electricity grid over the next five years, according to a statement from the WB headquarters in Washington.

“The programme aims to build on the recent achievements of expanding nationwide access to 36 per cent in 2014. In addition, the Programme will scale up the supply of renewable energy in rural areas while strengthening sector institutional capacity,” said Bella Bird, WB country director for Tanzania, who also covers Malawi, Burundi and Somalia.

“Access to electricity is critical to extend economic opportunities and reduce poverty…this programme not only offers the opportunity for many more Tanzanians to have access to power in their homes and businesses, but also enables small power producers to access finance to invest in production, including renewable energy sources.”

The government of Tanzania is currently implementing a national energy policy whose goal is to increase the country’s overall electricity connectivity to 50 per cent by 2025 and to at least 75 per cent by 2033.

The National Rural Electrification Programme (2013-2022) under which the new programme is to be implemented, includes both on-grid and off-grid solutions and has four priorities: the connection of new customers to the grid in already electrified settlements; new connections to the grid; electrification through off-grid investments; and the development of distributed technologies, in particular off-grid solar and other renewable technologies.

In addition to household beneficiaries, Institution’s financing will also, in part, benefit 25,000 education facilities, 25,000 health facilities, 150,000 businesses. And Small Power Projects would also benefit from access to capital to enable them to contribute 33MW in renewable energy under the programme.

The respective implementing institutions – the Tanzanian ministry of Energy and Minerals and the Rural Electrification Agency — will benefit from capacity strengthening to improve efficiency, transparency, and accountability. “The programme comes at a time when the government has embarked upon an important long-term power sector restructuring plan which will greatly improve transparency, performance and efficiency that are vital for future expansion achievements,” said Ms Nataliya Kulichenko, WB’s senior Energy specialist and Task Team leader.

Originally posted by: allafrica.com