BRD-Renewable Energy Fund “CANA UHENDUKIWE” will Change Beneficiaries’ Livelihoods through Affordable Solar Home Systems


The issue of access to electricity continues to be a challenge in Africa. In Rwanda for instance, as per the latest data provided in October 2021, the cumulative connectivity rate is 67.1% of households. Among these, 48.6% are connected to the national grid and 18.5% get electricity through off-grid systems (mainly solar). However, through the elaboration of the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategies (EDPRS II), the Government of Rwanda has shown its commitment to ensuring universal access to electricity by 2024, with off-grid solutions contributing up to 48%, while on-grid solutions will account for 52% of national electrification.

To meet this target, the Government of Rwanda channelled funds through the Renewable Energy Fund (REF), also known as CANA UHENDUKIWE, managed by the Development Bank of Rwanda (BRD) in order to accelerate efforts aimed at universal electrification. These efforts will subsequently pave the way for beneficiaries’ economic growth.

BRD’s interventions have been designed to address key constraints in the sector such as high start-up costs, among which electricity costs constitute a challenge, particularly for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

Through this initiative, Rwandan households and SMEs will be connected to off-grid electricity through solar systems. In this process, the use of electricity generated by a clean source of energy will replace the use of diesel, kerosene, dry cell batteries, as well as other alternative fuels.

How does one apply for the loan?

To get a ‘CANA UHENDUKIWE’ loan, one must have an account in Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCO), a Commercial Bank, or a microfinance institution; or work with a solar company from where they apply and are vetted in order to get the solar home system on credit.

There are currently 46 SACCOs, four commercial banks (Bank of Kigali, Bank of Africa, I&M Bank, and Access Bank), and over 6 solar companies (BBoxx, Ignite, Mobisol, NOTS, StarTimes, and Solektra), all working under the CANA UHENDUKIWE brand.

With CANA UHENDUKIWE, an applicant chooses a specific loan product and gets solar home systems installed with no delays.

The #CanaChallenge

The #canachallenge is a community-based initiative launched by BRD on December 16th 2021 on different social media platforms. The campaign encourages all Individuals and Organizations to make voluntary contributions to “Light up a Rwandan Family” that cannot access affordable electricity.

For every contribution of 15,000 RWF (US $15), BRD will top up the remaining 100,000 RW (US $ 100) necessary to purchase and install a home solar system for a family.

BRD calls upon everyone who can to join this initiative that will light up and transform the livelihoods of at least 10,000 families.

You may use the following bank accounts or Mobile Money codes for your donations:

Bank of Kigali: 100072686599
I&M Bank: 20001081012
MTN mobile money: 501173
Airtel Money: 501173

Marie José Ahimana is a farmer and mother of three living in Ruhanga village, Sovu cell, Imugano sector in Nyamagabe district. 
“I like watching TV to get updates on current affairs, but I didn’t have the chance to watch it from my home because we had no electricity.  Besides, my children would not revise courses overnight. It also affected us in many aspects of life, but I am grateful that we found a way where there seemed to be no way. We have overcome the cumbersome situation. Our houses are lit, and we no longer walk long distances to get our phones charged. My children also revise courses in a favorable environment,” Ahimana says.

For more Details:         

Visit BRD website

Facebook/Twitter @BRDBank

Call 3288 (Toll free)


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