London, Feb. 18, 2020 (AltAfrica)-Tanzania has overtaken Nigeria as the African leader in rural electrification projects.
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This is because the electrification programme being implemented through Rural Energy Agency (REA), in the East African country has yielded sub substantial achievements, placing Tanzania in the top slot in the African continent
in 2016, the World Bank approves a $209 million financing programme to enable the implementation of a six-year Rural Electrification Expansion Programme in Tanzania. (WB)The revelation was made by Minister for Energy, Dr Medard Kalemani, while addressing Masasi District defence and security committee members during his official visit to inspect power projects in the area.
“Initially, Nigeria was the leading country by 72 per cent, but we are now leading in the continent, as we have reached more than 74 per cent now,” said the minister.
According to Dr Kalemani, a total of 9,001 villages in the country have been connected; of these 3,559 villages were connected through the first round of Phase Three Rural Electrification Project (REA III-1), which is ongoing.
He further said that REA III1 will be completed in June 2020 but the government has agreed with the contractors executing the project across the country to finish the relevant work two months earlier, so they are expected to hand over the project to Tanzania Electric Supply Company (Tanesco), by April 31, 2020.
For Masasi District, he said the government decided to review the action plan that enabled them to increase the number of villages that will benefit from the project in the district.
“In the original design only a few villages were to benefit from this project. This is because other villages fall under the jurisdiction of councils or cities and not districts and thus did not meet the criteria since they had the status of streets and not villages,” he explained.
“This time, there are 34 districts that are fully covered with power supply, the same spirit will spread countrywide,” he said, adding that a total of 11,070 public institutions had also been connected to electricity between 2015 and 2019, up from 3,200 that were enjoying the service in the past.
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