Towards Universal Energy Access by 2020 in Rwanda: The Role of Government, Multilateral and Private Sector Stakeholder Engagement to Achieve Scale (Webinar)

27 June 2017

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PresentationIntroduction to the webinar and panelists

Presentation—Yasemin Erboy Ruff: Toward Universal Energy Access by 2020 in Rwanda: The Role of Government, Multilateral and Private Sector Stakeholders

Presentation—Robert Nyamvumba: Towards Universal Energy Access by 2020 in Rwanda

Presentation—Claire Nelson: Power Africa and Off-Grid Energy in Rwanda

Presentation—Bibek Raj Kandel: Scaling up Off-Grid Energy in Rwanda

Presentation—Godfrey Odhiambo: ZOLA by Off Grid Electric

Presentation—Amaury Fastenakels: The Virtual Solar Grid

TranscriptWebinar audio transcript

The Clean Energy Solutions Center, in partnership with United Nations Foundation’s Energy Access Practitioner Network, hosted this webinar to highlight the impact to date, current opportunities and remaining challenges in scaling distributed energy solutions in Rwanda. This webinar was the fourth in the UN Foundation's country-focused webinar series that seeks to delve into the state of energy access across different parts of the world, starting with countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) considers Rwanda a “large gap” country—while it has significant energy potential and the country provides 62% of electricity to urban communities, the rural parts of the country benefit from only 8% of energy access.

Rwanda’s government has targeted 70% of households to have access by 2017–2018, to be met through a combination of on-grid and off-grid supply, and 100% access to electricity by 2020. The Ministry of Infrastructure (MININFRA), which leads the country’s national energy policy, has developed a Rural Electrification Strategy to this effect, which targets 22% of households gaining access to a Tier 1 energy service (as defined in the SEforAll Multi-Tier Framework and 48% of households gaining access to on-grid or at least Tier 2 energy service by 2017–2018.

The webinar explored the different roles of—and coordination among—government, multilateral and private sector stakeholders in helping meet the government’s vision of scaling energy access in the country, focusing on the specific role of distributed energy solutions.

The hashtag #PNwebinar was used on social media during the webinar.

  • Yasemin Erboy Ruff, Senior Officer, United Nations Foundation, will introduce the topic and provide context to the broader country focus webinar series.
  • Eng. Robert Nyamvumba, Energy Division Manager, MININFRA, Republic of Rwanda, will provide a keynote address and describe the government’s continued work to implement its Rural Electrification Strategy.
  • Claire Nelson, Rwanda Power Africa Lead, USAID, will describe Power Africa’s support to Rwanda’s energy development strategy through wide-ranging technical assistance, in particular focusing on the role of decentralized energy solutions.
  • Bibek Kandel, SOGER Program Manager, Energy4Impact, will discuss Energy4Impact’s Scaling up Off Grid Energy in Rwanda (SOGER) program, which aims to grow sustainable off-grid renewable energy markets by supporting private sector companies to deliver energy access to an estimated 77,000 people in poor rural areas, and create 7,000 jobs.
  • Godfrey Odhiambo, Country Director-Rwanda, Off-Grid Electric, will provide a business perspective to the energy access market in Rwanda, and showcase impact made to date as one of the biggest companies currently supplying Rwanda's off-grid solar market.
  • Amaury Fastenakels, Head of Strategy, BBOXX, will share BBOXX’s experience in Rwanda as one of the companies with the highest customer portfolio in the country, with a practical focus on managing and scaling distributed energy business.

Webinar presentations were followed by an interactive question and answer session with the audience, guided by Yasemin Erboy Ruff, United Nations Foundation.


Yasemin Erboy RuffYasemin Erboy Ruff, Senior Officer, Energy and Climate, United Nations Foundation

Yasemin Erboy Ruff is a senior Officer with the UN Foundation's Energy and Climate team, primarily assisting in coordinating efforts to scale up energy access in developing countries. She manages the day-to-day operational coordination and strategic planning of the UN Foundation’s Energy Access Practitioner Network, and she serves as the Energy and Climate team's focal point for research and writing support on materials related to the energy access issue area.

Claire NelsonClaire Nelson, Rwanda Power Africa Lead, USAID

Ms. Nelson has led the Power Africa initiative at USAID in Rwanda since late 2016. There she oversees the initiative's transaction advisory support services, technical assistance and capacity building for key government institutions and the private sector. Before joining Power Africa, Claire worked on business development and government relations in emerging markets for Mainstream Renewable Power, a global wind and solar developer. Claire holds an MSc in environmental policy and regulation from the London School of Economics.

Bibek Raj KandelBibek Raj Kandel, Programme Manager, Scaling up Off-Grid Energy in Rwanda

Bibek Raj Kandel is a Programme Manager of E4I-managed Scaling up Off-Grid Energy in Rwanda (SOGER), a Sida-funded off-grid electrification programme in Rwanda. His work experience encompasses over 10 years in designing and implementing range of renewable energy projects in Nepal, and most recently in Rwanda. Kandel holds an MSc in Environmental and Energy Management from University of Twente, Netherlands and a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Tribhuvan University, Nepal.

Robert NyamvumbaRobert Nyamvumba, Energy Division Manager, Ministry of Infrastructure, Rwanda

Robert Nyamvumba is a holder of BSc. Electrical Engineering from Kigali Institute for Science and Technology (KIST). He has been Energy Division Manager at Ministry of Infrastructure, Rwanda since February 2015. Robert is a former Deputy Director General of Energy Water and Sanitation Authority (EWSA Ltd) and Managing Director of Energy Development Corporation (EDCL), the subsidiary company for Rwanda Energy Group (REG Ltd) from 2013 to February 2015. He has worked in different managerial positions as the Manager of National Electricity Control Center for the state utility ELECTROGAZ. He has more than 10 years of experience in the energy sector dealing with utility operations, energy projects development, negotiating power purchase agreements in different technologies (peat, methane gas, hydro, and solar) with independent power producers. He is an expert in power systems, renewable energies and off-grid technologies.

Amaury FastenakelsAmaury Fastenakels, Head of Strategy, BBOXX

Amaury Fastenakels is the Head of Strategy of BBOXX, the largest off-grid solar company in Rwanda. He joined BBOXX as one of the first employees and helped define the retail operations and product offering of BBOXX, which has already brought electricity to more than 100,000 households. More recently he has worked on the new products and services offered to BBOXX customers. He used to be consultant for The Boston Consulting Group, where he worked in strategy, supply chain, customer retention and strategic due diligence. Amaury has an M.Eng. from Imperial College London in Chemical Engineering.

Godfrey OdhiamboGodfrey Odhiambo, Country Director-Rwanda, Off-Grid Electric

Godfrey Odhiambo is the Managing Director in Rwanda at Off-Grid Electric. For the past 15 years, Godfrey has worked in financial services, aviation and consulting industries in different capacities, helping his employers and clients create, grow and protect their wealth and therefore have an intimate understanding of all facets of managing businesses.