Rwanda has hosted the Renewable Energy for Sustainable Growth-RE4SG conference 3rd edition on 5th-6th November 2019.
It was an opportunity to reflect on achievements and take stock of how Rwandans have been supported in accessing energy through different means through public-private partnerships.
Energy Private Developers (EPD), a registered professional association in Rwanda regrouping private companies operating in the energy sector takes pride to be part of the journey.
As an independent professional association, EPD coordinates constructive dialogue between the public and private Rwandan renewable energy sectors. By sharing information and advocating for a positive working environment for the private sector, they are supporting Rwanda’s government Electrification Goal of bringing 100% electrification by 2024.
EPD works with different stakeholders such as; the Private sector Federation of Rwanda (PSF), Government of Rwanda , Ministry of Infrastructure’, Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and Rwanda Energy Group (REG). It also works with International Development agencies such as Power Africa, DFID, EnDEV, GIZ, and many more.
All the above work together to address critical issues in the Energy sector and pave a way forward through which the sector can grow and thrive.
EPD has a membership of more than 100 private enterprises in multiple energy sectors including solar, hydro, LPG gas, biomass, biogas, methane gas and more.
It is one of the 5 associations composing the Chamber of Industry under the Private Sector Federation of Rwanda. EPD focuses on advocacy of its members, encouraging collaboration and partnership for the development of the energy sector in Rwanda.
Hope Magazine has caught up with Sanday Kabarebe, the EPD CEO to tell us more and what the 3rd edition of Renewable Energy for Sustainable Growth conference holds for Rwanda’s energy sector.
Tell us about the coming third edition of the Renewable Energy for Sustainable Growth-RE4SG conference
This year’s edition is no very different from the first 2 editions but it has a unique set of propositions to all stakeholders involved in the energy space but very much more on the Renewable energy solutions. The Energizing Agriculture session looked at opportunities for both lighting and food security as both are very vital in the achieving the universal SDGs that we all work hard towards achieving. It attracted around 300 foreigners, all local companies and policy makers as well.
How important is the conference to Rwanda’s energy sector?
This annual conference that EPD organizes is very important to the energy sector because each year brings different challenges and opportunities in the energy space both in the country and around the globe. We have diversified our programs and also had very high level speakers, participants and investors that were part of this. Opportunities in the energy space in Rwanda actually supersede the challenges due to the fact that there is strong collaboration between the private sector, Government, donors and investors all working together towards a common cause of reaching universal energy access by 2024.
How much is EPD influencing Rwanda’s vision to ensure universal electricity access?
The Government of Rwanda has made sure that the private sector takes lead in the electrification of this nation and has committed to continuously work with and support the private sector. EPD does not influence Rwanda’s vision but rather fulfills its vision by making sure that the private sector is committed to being a part of accelerating access to both off grid and on grid as well as making sure other technologies such as usage of clean cooking technologies, embracing innovation in the country etc… are all engaged.
What is the extent of EPD’s interventions and role in as far as growth of renewable energy in Rwanda is concerned?
Renewable energy’s growth trend all over the world is amazing. Looking at how far we have come as a nation, we see a lot more investment coming into the country and more alternatives are flocking the markets. This shows that EPD’s role of having an organized sector is bearing fruit and the future is promising.
What challenges facing Rwanda in the sector and what contribution is EPD offering in finding lasting solutions to these challenges?
The energy sector especially the off grid space comes with different challenges and we as the private sector, have to collaborate with different stakeholders in order to be able to keep on track in the scaling up and increasing access role. The main challenge for us is the end user affordability issue and we are working hand in hand with various entities including the Government to find lasting solutions such as the Result Based Financing and also that tied to other incentives for the industry such as different forms of subsidies.