The Alliance for Rural Electrification (ARE), and the Burundi Renewable Energy Association (BUREA), with the support of GET.invest Burundi, financed by the European Union and part of GET.invest, and the World Bank organised the Burundi Energy Access Days on the 4th and 5th of October 2022 in Bujumbura. The event was held under the high patronage of His Excellency the Prime Minister of the Republic.
This unique event welcomed 150 participants from 15 countries to catalyse the renewable electrification sector in Burundi and the region through the roundtable, interactive sessions, an exhibition and networking opportunities.
On the first day of the event, His Excellency the Prime Minister Gervais Ndirakobuca, and Mr. Ibrahim Uwizeye, the Minister of Energy & Mines of Burundi, opened the Round Table on Universal Access to Electricity, where they were joined by other government representatives including, Audace Niyonzima, the Minister of Finance of Burundi. The country's electrification agency, development organisations, and the private sector gathered at the round table to discuss the government's plan to achieve universal access to energy by 2030.
Mr. Ibrahim Uwizeye, the Minister of Energy & Mines of Burundi stated that: “In order to achieve the sector's vision of ‘sustainable development through access to clean, reliable and efficient energy for all’, the government of Burundi with the support of various stakeholders is pursuing energy production and supply activities to meet demand. We take this opportunity to express our thanks and gratitude to all our development partners who accompany us in the implementation of our mission to provide the population with access to electricity and other related services, in particular the World Bank and the EU for their collaboration in the organisation of the energy days.”
In order to support the plan with project implementations on the ground, the roundtable also obtained commitments from development partners.
On behalf of the development partners, the EU Ambassador Claude Bochu said: “The various investments in large-scale energy and decentralised renewable energy infrastructures can only produce the expected sustainable development effects if good governance and greater transparency in the sector are ensured. For present and future generations, we must work to ensure the sustainability of these large investments, which are of strategic importance to the country.”
Development partners such as the EU and the World Bank firmly believe that: “Universal access to energy in Burundi will improve the quality of life of citizens, the business climate and also boost economic growth. The partners are ready to support Burundi's structural transformation towards an emerging country by 2040, with inclusive, sustainable, green and environmentally friendly growth."
After a fruitful first day, ARE and BUREA organised the Burundi Renewable Energy Day which shed light on the investments and projects in the renewable energy sector in Burundi. Featuring a lively exhibition, the second day of the event provided participants with the opportunity to showcase their products and services and forge new business relationships.
In addition, the GET.invest Matchmaking session allowed more than 80 meetings to take place between business partners in the region and investors, technology providers, project developers, as well as other innovators in the sector.
Wrapping up the 2-day event, Jens Jæger, Director of Policy & Business Development, ARE concluded: “After this one-of-a-kind event, we are confident that Burundi, with its ambitious renewable energy targets, will entice many more businesses to expand locally and take part in the mass deployment of renewable energy solutions and enhance energy access in rural areas. In this regard, the ARE Members are prepared to add to the nation's effort to provide universal energy access through their expertise and technology.”