The World Bank’s Dual Messages To Kagame – “We Love Your Drones, But Your Energy Indicators Are Disastrous”

The World Bank President Jim Yong Kim launching Kagame’s blood delivery drone 21 March 2017

By David Himbara

On a visit to Rwanda on March 21, 2017, the World Bank President Jim Yong Kim was impressed by President Paul Kagame’s drones that purportedly deliver blood across Rwanda.

I wonder if Jim Yong Kim discussed with Kagame how much blood the drones have delivered so far. Or how the blood is handled on arrival in a country of nearly 12 million but with less than 700 medical doctors. Or if there is electricity and refrigeration facilities in rural Rwanda to preserve the blood.

Meanwhile, the World Bank has come up with Regulatory Indicators For Sustainable Energy (RISE). RISE is based on a vast of primary policy and regulatory documents and is published biannually – the next one being due in 2018. The inaugural 2016 RISE Report covers 111 countries across the developed and developing world.

RISE has three pillars – but I limit my comments here to Pillar 1, which assesses policies relating to energy access. In this pillar on energy access, RISE scrutinizes the following national policies and regulations:

  1. “Existence and monitoring of officially approved electrification plan.
  2. Scope of officially approved electrification plan.
  3. Framework for grid electrification.
  4. Framework for minigrids
  5. Framework for stand-alone systems.
  6. Consumer affordability of electricity.
  7. Utility transparency and monitoring.
  8. Utility creditworthiness.”

So how does the World Bank score Rwanda on Pillar 1? Rwanda’s score out of 100 points is the lowest East Africa:

  1. Kenya – 82
  2. Uganda – 78
  3. Tanzania – 75
  4. Burundi – 45
  5. Rwanda – 41

Dear President Jim Yong Kim, please tell your pupil President Paul Kagame to shape up. Remind him that energy is the cornerstone of every country’s development – not gimmicks like drones.