This knowledge note is the third of three case studies that concerns scaling up access to electricity in Africa, Bangladesh, and Rwanda. Rwanda’s rapid achievements in expanding access to electricity after 2009 were made possible by one of the first applications of a sector-wide approach (SWAp) in the electricity sector, according to the authors who say the World Bank played a pivotal role in the operationalization of the SWAp, first by assisting in the formulation of an investment prospectus that laid the groundwork for technical, financial, and implementation planning. The Rwandan experience is instructive for countries considering the adoption of a similar approach, particularly those starting from a low base, according to the authors. Rwanda's experience with electrification is an interesting case of how access to electricity can be quickly scaled up despite deficits in infrastructure and institutional capacity. In all, the SWAp in Rwanda delivered improvements in electricity access over a short period. Although challenges remain, the program is on its way to achieving the targets set for 2017.
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