World Bank agrees $340m investment for Regional Rusumo Falls hydro project

The World Bank has agreed to $340m financing for the governments of Burundi, Rwanda and Tanzania to develop Regional Rusumo Falls hydroelectric project under a Great Lakes Regional Initiative.

Each of the countries will receive proceeds of $113.30m through the International Development Association, the group’s fund for the poorest. The project will cost a total of $468.6m and has a nameplate capacity of 80MW.

Operations and Regional Integration strategy director Colin Bruce said that the landmark projects is anticipated to have transformational impact, providing lower-cost energy to homes, businesses, and clinics in Burundi, Rwanda and Tanzania.

“By connecting grids, people and environmentally sensitive solutions, the project will help to catalyze growth and to encourage peace and stability in the sub-region,” Bruce added.

Expected to strengthen the capacity of the Nile Equatorial Lakes Subsidiary Action Program (NELSAP), the hydro project will provide low-cost clean energy and improve economic conditions driven by new job opportunities for the Nile Equatorial Lakes (NEL) sub-region in east African countries.

World Bank senior energy specialist and project team leader Paul Baringanire said, “The Regional Rusumo Falls Hydroelectric Project provides a fresh opportunity to unlock energy potential in the Great Lakes region, while safeguarding the environment.”

The bank supported in providing electricity to an additional 1.4 million people in African countries in 2011.