Eight Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCOs) have today signed a financing agreement with the Development Bank of Rwanda (BRD) which will see 445,000 households across the country get electricity. This will benefit 1.8 million people, 52% of whom are women.
The population from across the country will be able to get the lendings through the Renewable Energy Fund (REF) Project worth US$ 48.94 million, managed by the World bank that partners with the Rwanda Development Bank, which is the project implementing entity, the Small Enterprises and other financial institutions including the commercial banks.
The other beneficiaries of the Fund are businesses which will gain access to off-grid electricity services through solar systems.
The eight SACCOs that signed the fund agreements with BRD include; Terimbere SACCO of Bwira sector in Ngororero District, Uruyange SACCO of Rukoma Sector of Kamonyi district, Girubukire SACCO of Buyoga Sector from Rulindo District, Rebakure SACCO from Rusarambuye, Burera district, Isunge SACCO from Ngarama Sector of Gatsibo district, Imbarutso SACCO from Musenyi Sector of Bugesera District.
Others are COOPEC Ubumwe from Nyakariro Sector of Rwamagana District and Rebakure SACCO of Coko Sector located in Gakenke District of the Northern Province.
According to Eric Rutabana, the CEO of the Rwanda Development Bank, the fund was given to SACCOs to enable the population get access to electricity in line with Rwanda’s National Strategy for Transformation for the period 2017-2024 in which the Rwandan government “aspires to see all the Rwandan population get electricity.”
Eric Rutabana said that “the eight SACCOs were given the fund on the 5% interest rate per year so that the population be lent the money on a low and affordable loan interest rate also.”
Rutabana said that every SACCO will be given US$25,000 to implement the project but the sum of the money may increase according to the number of activities every SACCO will need to do.
He added that besides the eight SACCOs that signed the fund agreement with BRD, the other 22 SACCOs which have qualified to participate in the Rwanda Renewable Energy Fund Project will also sign the financing agreements soon.
Jean Damascene Vuguziga who represented Isunge SACCO from Ngarama Sector of Gatsibo District told Taarifa “our SACCO will mobilise the population to get funds. I think the lives of the population will change when households get connected to electricity.”
Rene Ntaganda Mugabo, the Accountant at Rebakure SACCO of Rusarabuye Sector of of Burera District, said, “I am sure that the population will participate to get the finances to get electricity because the interest rate will be low as the fund is for their development.”