Rural Electrification

Tanzania Rural Electrification

According to the National Census of 2012, about 70% of Tanzania’s 50m population resides in rural areas whereas only 7% of the rural population is connected to electricity supply.

The World Bank (WB) indicates that Tanzania is at an early stage of rural electrification and is taking an approach that includes both on-grid and off-grid solutions.

The Rural Energy Board (REB), the Rural Energy Agency (REA), and the Rural Energy Fund (REF) were established to promote, stimulate and facilitating access to modern energy services in rural areas of Tanzania.

As explained by former REA’s Director General, Lutengano Mwakaesya, the Government’s goal is to electrify all villages in Tanzania by 2021 with a rate of 2,000 villages per year.

To support this, in August 2016, The World Bank (WB) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Government of Tanzania to provide USD209m for the implementation of the country’s Rural Electrification Expansion Program.

The program aims to connect 2.5m Tanzanian households in rural areas to the national electricity grid over the next 5 years.

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.

As of June 2016, 4,395 villages in Tanzania were connected to electricity, which represents 36% of the 12,268 villages in mainland Tanzania.