Energy Sector

Energy Sector

The energy sector is one of the key sectors in Burundi’s economy, access to electricity concerns only 1.8% of the population (25,000 customers) and 95% of the electricity is consumed in the capital Bujumbura. Gitega and Bujumbura are the only two cities in Burundi that have a municipal electricity service. The national average electricity consumption per capita is only 20 kWh per year. 90% of Burundi’s energy sources comes from wood, charcoal and peat. Only 1% of the country’s population is able to have access to electricity.

Energy Policy in Burundi

The focus of the energy policy is on rehabilitation of existing hydropower plants and distribution grids as well as the development of new hydroelectric sites. Rural electrification program is planned mainly by grid extension and by providing information on alternative energy sources affordable for low-income households.

Government of Burundi is planning to carry out the following actions in the energy sector:

  • Double the hydroelectric power stations of Nyemanga (2.8 MW) and Buhiga
  • Execute feasibility and implementation studies for Kabu 16 (max. capacity: 20 MW), Kaganuzi (5 MW), Mpanda (10.4 MW), Mule 34 (16.5 MW). For the longer term feasibility and implementation studies for Makembwe (115 MW), Kabulantwe (67 MW) Rushihi (15 MW) and Ruzibazi (7 MW)
  • Construct regional power plants in cooperation with neighbouring countries: Ruzizi III (145 MW) and Rusumo Falls (61.5 MW)
  • Develop rural electrification by the construction of mini-hydros, solar and wind- power, the use of biogas and grid extension
  • Renovation of the existing hydroelectric power stations, and electricity transmission and distribution networks
  • Construction of Power generation plant of Kabu16, Kaganuzi, Mpanda and Mule 34
  • Extension of the urban electric networks as well as those in rural areas
  • Rehabilitating of existing non functioning plants
  • Organizational audit and financial turnaround of the Electricity Utility (REGIDESO)
  • Develop a performance contract between the Government and REGIDESO.

 Regulatory Framework in Energy Sector

Burundi has established a legislative and regulatory framework for structuring the energy sector and promoting participation of private investors.

Law No. I/014 of 1 August 2000 relates to the liberalization and regulation of the public services of water and electricity.

Ministry of Water, Energy and Mines (MWEM)
MEM is responsible for the development and implementation of energy policies, sectoral planning and programme coordination, as well as for the management of the energy sector.  Under this ministry there is the DGEE (Direction Générale de l’Eau et de l’Energie) which is divided into 2 departments: the Energy department and the Hydraulic Resources Department. The DGEE is responsible for the coordination of sectorial activities, project planning, hydroelectric development studies, preparation of energy balance, control of services to the public, and renewable energy programme implementation through the Burundi Centre for Alternative Energy Studies (CEBEA).

Ministry of Water, Energy and Mines (MWEM) aims to:

  • Restructure the energy sector by merging the electricity activities of DGHER with REGIDESO
  • encourage private sector participation in electricity production
  • Fully enact the regulatory framework. The MWEM considers the direct subsidy of operation and maintenance (O&M) costs as inadequate and inefficient and adheres to a tariff policy of fully covering at least O&M costs
  • Making users and public services aware of rational utilization of available energy.

Control and Regulation Agency for the Water and Electricity sectors
Control and Regulation Agency for the Water and Electricity sectors in Burundi was established by Decree No. 100/320 dated 22 December 2011 , has a mandate to ensure the development of an orderly and profitable water and electricity sector in Burundi.

It controls, regulates and monitors activities related to water and electricity in order to ensure compliance with contract conditions for delegation as well as specifications and additional clauses on the part of operators.

It also ensures the implementation, monitoring and application of tariffs in accordance with the pricing principles that have been established by regulation.

Burundian Agency for Rural Electrification (ABER)

Burundian Agency for Rural Electrification (ABER) was established by Decree No. 100/318 dated 22 December 2011.

The objective of this entity is to develop and implement rural electrification projects and programmes, including small-scale hydropower, solar and wind energy, as well as other forms of energy that can improve electricity access for the rural population.

The energy sector of Burundi has been summarized to include the following

Energy Sector Profile in Burundi
Current State
Key Players in Energy Sector of Burundi
Financial Institutions that facilitate investments in Energy Sector
Investment Opportunities