Tanzania’s access to electricity increased from less than 30% to 67.3% during the last decade, All Africa reported, citing a statement from the Tanzanian Energy and Minerals Minister, Sospeter Muhongo.

Muhongo stated that the access to power in rural areas increased from just 2% in 2007 to 47.5% in 2017, noting that 97.3% of urban folks have been connected to electricity, Daily News informed.

“At 97.3% access in urban areas, Tanzania is among few African countries to record high achievement as per global standards,” Minister Muhongo informed late March during the groundbreaking ceremony for the $340m Rusumo Falls Hydro-electrical power plant.

The power plant project, which involves the construction of transmission lines at a cost of $121m, will link the national grids of Tanzania, Burundi, and Rwanda. The three countries will each have a share of 26.6MW from the 80MW that the hydropower plant will generate.

Muhongo further said that Tanzania is determined to generate more power from natural gas and other sources to between 10,000MW and 15,000MW. Additionally, he explained that the power project and transmission lines, whose completion is scheduled for 2020, are among solutions to the power shortages faced by the three countries, which are East African Community (EAC) members.

“The transmission system will play a significant role in boosting electricity trade in the region and Africa as a whole through interconnection routes from North and South Africa power pools,” he noted.