Ambassadors of Germany, United Kingdom and Belgium visit EnDev-supported mini-grid in Rwanda
18 May 2017
Rwandan investor Philbert Ndagijimana showed his privately owned and financed hydro-powered mini-grid to the international delegation
In December 2016, the first privately owned and financed mini-grid in Rwanda became operational. Jurwe village benefits from 267 reliable electricity connections, including 230 households, 6 social institutions and 31 businesses. Thanks to a sound business plan, proud investor Philbert Ndagijimana of ECOS Ltd. managed to secure two bank loans, allowing him to fund the construction. The hydro mini-grid now receives financial incentives from the results-based financing component of EnDev, rewarding successful operation.
National and international attention for ECOS
The success of ECOS Ltd. is drawing the attention of donors and the Government of Rwanda. On April 26 2017 , the German Ambassador, Dr. Peter Woeste, the UK High Commissioner, William Gelling OBE, and the Belgian Ambassador, Arnout Pauwels, visited the installations in Jurwe village.
After a ride of 2 hours from Kigali, Mr. Pauwels headed straight to the village to discuss with Philbert, the developer of the project and beneficiaries. The Ambassador showed great interest in the business case and the opportunities for productive use of electricity from the power plant. A shop, where a light bulb was burning and people could watch TV, was visited as well. Halfway during the interview though, the school – also also connected to the mini-grid – finished their programme, so dozens of children surrounded the Ambassador, interested in the visit of their village.
Meanwhile, Dr. Woeste and Mr. Gelling received a technical introduction. After a steep and slippery walk, both Ambassadors visited the powerhouse to observe how the electricity produced is then distributed to the end-consumers. Afterwards, they visited some consumers, including a bar with TV, light and radio running.
Successful business case of a local entrepreneur
The ECOS mini-grid project does not only supply the community with electricity, but is also becoming a showcase for access to energy in Rwanda. In addition to the Ambassadors’ visit, Philbert hosted a group of government representatives and a project team of the African Development Bank on the same day.