The African Development Bank (AfDB) has approved a $24 million loan to support Rwanda’s contribution to the development of the Ruzizi III hydropower project.

Ruzizi III is a joint initiative of the three Great Lakes countries – Burundi, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo – and will entail the construction of a run-of-river dam on the Ruzizi River between the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda downstream of Lake Kivu and the Ruzizi II Hydropower Dam.

The project package includes an 8.3 km, 220 kV transmission line to the Kamanyola power dispatch center and associated power evacuating lines which are funded separately. The output will be equally shared among the three participating countries and will increase electricity trading in the region.

The project will increase Rwanda’s clean energy generation capacity by about 50 MW. It is the first regional energy project designed as a public-private partnership and is aimed at optimizing the hydropower potential of the Ruzizi cascade while taking advantage of private sector management efficiencies and skills.