The World Bank (WB) approved the Tanzania Rural Electrification Expansion Project on 20th June 2016.
The USD200m loan is provided by the International Development Association (IDA), while the implementing institutions are the Ministry of Energy and Minerals (MEM) and the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) of Tanzania.
The project will connect 2.5m Tanzanian households in rural areas to the national electricity grid over the next 5 years.
In addition to household beneficiaries, the WB financing will also benefit 25,000 education facilities, 25,000 health facilities, and 150,000 businesses.
“This program not only offers the opportunity for many more Tanzanians to have access to power in their homes and businesses, but also enables small power producers to access finance to invest in production, including with renewable energy sources,” said Bella Bird, WB’s Country Director for Tanzania, who also covers Malawi, Burundi and Somali.
The Rural Electrification Expansion Project is implemented under the National Rural Electrification Program (NREP) 2013–2022, which includes both on-grid and off-grid solutions.
NREP has 4 priorities: the connection of new customers to the grid in already electrified settlements, new connections to the grid, electrification through off-grid investments, and the development of renewable technologies.
NREP is in line with the Government’s goal of increasing the country’s overall electricity connectivity to 50% by 2025 and to at least 75% by 2033.
The number of people with access to electricity increased from 7% in in 2011 to 36% in 2014. According to MEM, the rate of national access to electricity was 40% in April 2016.
Accordingly, the WB’s project aims to build on these achievements and further expand nationwide access to electricity.