Extract from Africa News - 28 May 2009

The Rwandan Ministers of Finance, James Musoni, and of Infrastructure, Albert Butare, attended the signing ceremony. Partners in the project are Rabobank (35% owner of BPR) and SNV and GTZ. The Royal Netherlands Embassy in Kigali also provides financial support for this project.

The biogas program is a project whereby small-scale farmers acquire biogas digesters. All they need is at least two cows, a stable shed and easy access to water. This facility will secure access to a reliable source of energy for 15,000 households.

Currently, many Rwandan households use wood for cooking, which not only leads to deforestation, but is also hazardous for the women that cook on these wooden fires in their homes. Another positive effect of these loans on women is that it saves them time spent on collecting wood and the transport of the heavy wood to their houses.

This is the first (national) biogas program in Africa, but FMO expects follow-up programs in Rwanda and other African countries to be rolled out. The project is eligible for certified emission rights under the Kyoto Protocol.

The Access to Energy Fund (AEF) is a vehicle initiated by the Dutch government and FMO to make it possible to fund private sector projects that create sustainable access to energy services. By providing financing for projects involved in the generation, transmission or distribution of energy, the Fund hopes to ultimately connect 2.1 million people in developing countries by 2015.

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