Multinational- Ruzizi III regional hydropower plant project (Burundi)

Project Summary

Approval Date 16 Dec 2015
Signature Date 07 Mar 2016
Planned Completion Date 31 Dec 2022
Sovereign / Non-Sovereign Sovereign
Sector Power
DAC Sector Code 23630
Environmental Category 1
Commitment U.A 19,290,000
Status Implementation

Project General Description

The Ruzizi III Hydropower Plant Project which is part of the Programme for the Development of Infrastructure in Africa (PIDA) concerns Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Rwanda. It entails the construction of a run-of-river dam (on the Ruzizi River between DRC and Rwanda downstream from the Ruzizi II hydropower dam), a 147 MW power plant and a distribution station. Burundi’s current total capacity will double, while Rwanda’s will increase by half. DRC’s share will contribute to raising supply in the Eastern region currently not connected to the interconnected network, while also significantly reducing the percentage of energy of thermal origin. The project will help to meet the needs of the population and of the economy, in general, in accordance with the national development strategies of the countries concerned, which underscore the importance of ensuring reliable and affordable electric power supply to achieve sustainable economic transformation. The specific objectives of this operation are to: (i) contribute to the development of Ruzizi III for hydropower generation; and (ii) strengthen regional economic integration through the creation of an electricity market. The plan is to implement a project at a total cost of UA 443.40 million (of which UA 98.5 million financed by the Bank’s public sector window and UA 35.62 million expected from the private window) over a period of six (6) years, one year of which constitutes the development phase. This is the first regional project designed as a public-private partnership (PPP) aimed at optimizing the hydropower potential of the Ruzizi cascade. For its implementation, a private partner, acting in the capacity of investor/developer, will be recruited and awarded a concession. This partner will be required to develop the project, be a majority partner in a project company (PC) with the three countries concerned and secure the necessary financing.

Project Objectives

The project's sector goal is to tap the energy potential of the Ruzizi cascade to meet demand from the population and the economy in general, in accordance with ECGLC national development strategies, which stress the importance of reliable power supply for sustainable socio-economic transformation. The specific objectives are to: (i) contribute to the development of the Ruzizi III scheme; and (ii) strengthen regional economic integration by creating a market for electricity. The project will generate many benefits, including: (i) increased supply of electricity in the region and consequently access to electricity at an affordable cost, the direct beneficiaries of which will be the population, electricity companies and businesses in the countries concerned; (ii) the creation of direct and indirect jobs during works and permanent jobs during the operational phase; (iii) a reduction in subsidies on fossil fuels and development of the industrial fabric for Governments, (iv) the creation of income-generating activities for women and youth; and (iv) improvement of population's living conditions.


The project area lies in South Kivu Province in DRC, Ruzizi District in Rwanda and Cibitoke Province in Burundi. Agricultural activity in the project area focuses mainly on food crops. Population pressure, which is very strong in the area, is one of the main reasons for the small size of farms (less than 1 hectare per family). The estimated population of the project area is 615,000.

Participating Organization

African Development Fund
Électricité des Grands Lacs (EGL)


IATI identifier 46002-P-Z1-FA0-076
Last Update 24 Sep 2022


Contact Details

Name KONE Moussa

Geographic Location

Country Multinational
Coordinates Location Name
-1.28333 36.83333 Nairobi
-4.375 15.97 Kinshasa City
-3.3822 29.3644 Bujumbura
-1.96694 30.71389 Ruzizi
0.31628 32.5822 Kampala
-1.94995 30.0589 Kigali