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Burundi needs $ 3 billion to achieve universal access to electricity, says WB expert

ByWebmaster

Oct 6, 2023

BUJUMBURA, October 6th (ABP) – The activities of the second edition Burundi Renewable Energy Access Days (BREAD) continued on Wednesday October 4, 2023, in Bujumbura City.

The second day of those activities was marked by presentations from various experts in the energy sector around the theme “Strategies on universal access to electricity in Burundi”.

In his presentation, Mr. David Majambere, energy specialist at the World Bank, noted that access to electricity is a prerequisite for the development of an inclusive and resilient economy. However, he added, more than three quarters of Burundi’s population are deprived of it. The situation is even more worrying in rural areas where the rate of access to electricity is estimated at around 3.5%, according to him.

                                                                                                                                                                           View of the participants

Regarding the challenges of that universal access to electricity, Mr. Majambere mentioned, among other things, the lack of strategic planning/investments, the low rate of access and the high cost of the service ($ 0.24/KWh) due to high technical and commercial losses (30%) and high costs of thermal production ($ 0.22/KWh).

The gap between Burundi and other countries in the sub-region continues to widen (12% compared to 47%). Burundi should focus on the experiences of countries in the sub-region to overcome all those challenges linked to the lack of electricity, according to Mr. Majambere.

On the same occasion, Mr. Majambere did not fail to point out that to respond to that mission of electrification throughout the country, they plan to increase and supply renewable energies. The installed capacity will have to double and exceed 200 MW over the next two to three years.

Reiterating his words, Mr. Majambere clarified that Burundi plans to make sectoral reforms with a strong emphasis on improving the operational performance of REGIDESO and the new electricity law.

Note that based on the first results of that strategy on universal access to electricity, Burundi needs 3 billion US dollars to properly carry out this project, David Majambere insisted.