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How Results-based Financing made the Mini-grid sector in rural Rwanda thrive

By 2024, Rwanda wants to provide access to 100% of households through off-grid and on-grid connections. © Abdul Muyingo

The Rwanda Village Grid Results-based Financing (RBF) Project Closing report outlines the design, implementation, results and lessons learned of the 7-year program, which ran from 2013- 2020 with the aim of supporting privately developed mini-grids in Rwanda.   

The project, which supported over 10,000 people reach access to electricity and supported four companies in constructing both solar and hydro mini-grids, overcame a number of challenges and gained valuable lessons learned in the design and implementation of a mini-grid RBF program. The report highlights both the achievements and struggles, while providing valuable lessons for future RBF programs.

From 2013 until 2020, EnDev’s RBF Facility (RBFF) piloted 17 projects across 14 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America covering a wide range of modern energy technologies to enhance energy access markets with funding provided by UK Aid through the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO).

EnDev’s Village-Grid RBF facility was one of the first to support mini-grid development in Rwanda and became a leading partner in the sector offering much needed grants to the sector, alongside technical capacity support and support to improving the enabling environment.

When EnDev’s first mini-grid RBF was launched in 2014, no privately-owned mini-grids, developed through formal channels, existed in Rwanda.  By 2020, the EnDev VG RBF project was able to reach 10,641 people by supporting four companies in building one hydro mini-grid, two solar AC mini-grids and 22 nano-grids (1kW each). Through these mini-grids, 364 enterprises and 24 social institutions gained access to electricity, creating over 100 jobs.

The program not only helped raise the profile of the mini-grid sector in Rwanda, through its provision of financing which enabled some of the first mini-grids in Rwanda to be built, but also through its involvement in the sector by developing key partnerships to support access to finance, working closely with companies on their proposals, building capacities of its fund manager to ensure smooth implementation of the fund, developing knowledge tools (i.e. sector reports), while working closely with government stakeholders to support the development of a sound policy, regulatory and planning framework. 

Further information

Enhancing energy access in rural Rwanda: Village Grid Results-based Financing Project Closing Report

To learn more about RBF within EnDev, click here.

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