A number of regional organisations are involved in power sector projects in the East African Region. These include the EAC, the Nile Equatorial Lakes Subsidiary Action Plan (NELSAP) and Regional Power Trade Project (RPTP) both of Nile Basin Initiative (NBI), the Economic Cooperation of the Great Lakes Country (CEPGL) and the Eastern Africa Power Pool (EAPP).
The EAC is working closely with these organisations in promoting regional projects and programmes. A technical team meets regularly to share information and make appropriate plans. The organisations have agreed to collectively promote projects in common geographical area with the each organisation taking a lead in promoting the project that it is best placed to promote.
Studies for key transmission lines that will result in complete interconnection of the region have been completed. These include Mbarara - Birembo line linking Uganda and Rwanda, Rwegura - Kigoma linking Rwanda and Burundi and a second transmission line linking Kenya and Uganda. The studies, which included preparation of tender documents, were financed by AfDB and were coordinated by NELSAP.
Following completion of the studies in November 2007 and preparation of tender documents in October 2008, AfDB has led efforts to mobilise funding for implementation.
Funding to the tune of US$ 248 million has been secured from the AfDB (US$ 162 million), Japan (US$ 61 million), and the World Bank (US$ 25 million) to cover the following three projects, which are estimated to cost US$ 260 million. The countries concerned will contribute a total of US$ 12 million:
i) Uganda (Jinja) - Kenya (Lessos) interconnection
ii) Uganda (Mbarara) - Rwanda (Birembo) interconnection
iii) Bujumbura (Burundi) - Kiliba (DRC)
iv) Kibuye (Rwanda) - Goma (DRC) - Mukungwa (Rwanda) – Kigali
The investments in the development of the proposed transmission lines and interconnections in the region wiill create a solid backbone for power trade in the EAC and NELSAP regions.
A project coordination unit (PCU) was established in February 2010 to coordinate the implementation of the Power Trade and Development project.
Due to its regional nature, the project has to date attracted funding in the tune of US$ 363 million.