East Africa on "harmonising" power and WEF


East African countries have been working on “harmonising” their power grids to ensure any surplus can be shared among those in the region, Rwanda’s Finance Minister, Claver Gatete gave CNBC Africa an update as well as some of the things to listen out for at The World Economic Forum hosted in Rwanda next month.

“What the heads of state from Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, have done is to make sure that we invest, make sure that we have a way of transporting that energy for each of the countries so what they have instructed now – that we are working on – is to make sure that we harmonise the grid,” said Claver Gatete, Rwanda’s Finance Minister.

He explains they are working on moving 400 kilovolts from Ethiopia to Rwanda to make import and export more convenient, making sure that any country that has surplus can export to another country much easier.


“We are working together on so many infrastructure projects, especially the railway that is linking us with Tanzania and Burundi that have had the feasibility done, the rest is now it is attracting the private investment to make sure that it can be implemented,” he said.


By the end of this month, Gatete said it will be discussing the cooperation agreement between Tanzania and Rwanda on how to move forward with some of the specific projects within the permanent commission that were set up between the two countries.

The World Economic Forum is taking place in Rwanda on the 11-13 May and according to Gatete in terms of attendance, the event is already oversubscribed.

“We are seeing this one becoming more of an attraction encouraging the investment in Africa.”

“Now we are looking at how IT can make a contribution especially in the different sectors of the African economy,” said Gatete.

WEF is not only focusing on Rwanda, it is focusing on the entire African continent and we are seeing the response from the different areas of the economy really becoming a forum of discussing, for example, external factors that are becoming more complicated year after year,

This year they are looking at “proper” solutions, looking at how to use IT to leapfrog and looking at issues like agriculture for example.

“The issues that we have been discussing here in terms of investment, education and the skills that are necessary, exports, balance of payments, the issues of currencies, the commodities,

“All these things will be discussed and debated in Rwanda, trying to find some success stories and how we move forward and I think this is going to become a forum which is more solution based than just another conference,” said Claver Gatete, Rwanda’s Finance Minister.