US$ 163 Million AfDB Loans and Grants to Finance the Interconnection of Electric Grids of Five Nile Equatorial Lakes Countries

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Tunis, 27 November, 2008 – The African Development Fund (ADF) Board of Directors has approved a US$ 148 million (UA* 99,77 million) financing for the Interconnection of Electric Grids of Nile Equatorial Lakes Countries, concerning loans of: UA 17.73 million to Kenya and UA 7.59 million to Uganda, as well as grants of UA 15.15 million to Burundi, UA 27.62 million to the DR Congo, UA 30.47 million to Rwanda, and UA 1.21 million to the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI).

The project consists in the construction and upgrading of 769 km of 220 kV and 110 kV power lines and 17 transformer stations to interconnect the electric grids of the following Nile Equatorial Lakes (NBI) countries: Burundi, Kenya, Uganda, DR Congo and Rwanda.

The project will cover an area of 286,350 km² of the Nile Equatorial Lakes Basin and target an estimated population of 135 million inhabitants. The project seeks to improve the living conditions of the people, as well as the quality of the socioeconomic development environment of the region.

The main beneficiaries of the project will therefore be the people, local communities, enterprises and trading entities, private and governmental institutions in the five countries, which will have increased access to reliable and affordable electric energy for domestic, industrial and commercial use. This will have an immediate positive impact on the competitiveness of investments in the productive sectors of the economy.

The project is included in the NEPAD infrastructure Short-Term Action Plan (STAP) which lays special emphasis on the interconnection of power grids as a key option for increasing access to electricity on the continent. The project also falls within the priorities of the countries as well as the strategic intervention pillars of the Bank for the 2008-2011 and 2008-2012 programming periods of the countries concerned with the present project. The project is in line with the Bank’s operational policies, strategies and priorities, notably its support to selective implementation of priority regional infrastructures of Regional Member Countries.

Furthermore, the Bank’s intervention helped to mobilize other donors to support the project financing. Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and the World Bank (WB) will participate at a level of 23.4% and 9.74% respectively.

The total estimated cost of the project is US$ 238 million (UA 160.20 million). It will be implemented within a period of 48 months starting from 2009.

* UA = US$ 1.4883 as in November 2008

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