Power Africa in Democratic Republic of the Congo



The Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is the 11th largest country in the world, with a land mass equal to that of the United States east of the Mississippi. The population is 83 million, of which 12 million live in the capital, Kinshasa. GDP in 2016 was estimated at $35 billion. The DRC has one of the lowest rates of electrification in the world at just 9%, with 1% in rural areas and 19% in urban areas. The DRC is endowed with large mineral resources and has a potential to install up to 100,000 MW of hydropower capacity.


Installed Capacity: 2,677 MW

  • Hydroelectric: 2,542 MW

  • Thermal: 135 MW

Power Africa New MW to Date

  • Reached Financial Close: 0 MW

PA 2030 Pipeline: 5,000 MW


Current Access Rate: 9%

  • Rural: 1% Urban: 19%

Households without Power: 15 million

  • Target: Universal Access by 2050

Power Africa Off-Grid Connections: 286,100


Biggest Issues and Bottlenecks

  1. Governance
  2. Electric utility performance
  3. Absence of regulatory agency
  4. Absence of Rural Electrification Agency
  5. High taxes, VAT, and import duties

Power Africa Interventions

  1. Establishment of autonomous regulatory agency (ARE)
  2. Establishment of rural electrification agency (ANSER)
  3. Support on generation, transmission, and distribution concessions
  4. Support to mini-grid investments as well as solar home systems



Power Africa is assisting the Government of the DRC (GDRC) to implement the 2014 Electricity Code by supporting the establishment, training, and operation of two new GDRC agencies: the planned autonomous regulatory agency (ARE), and the National Rural Electrification Agency (ANSER), which will be responsible for rural electrification throughout the DRC’s vast territory. The strengthened legal and regulatory framework will attract both private and public capital to investment opportunities in the power sector.


Power Africa prepared a study of options for expanding grid access in Kwilu, Kasai, Kasai Central, and Kasai Oriental provinces. Currently, Power Africa is starting a new study that will detail four mini-grids in North and South Kivu provinces. Power Africa plans to partner with private sector investors such as mines to bring the mini-grids into operation. Power Africa is also supporting a number of solar home systems (SHS) companies that are now moving into the DRC market, especially in the eastern DRC (North and South Kivu). In addition, Power Africa will continue its work on rural electrification with provincial authorities in North and South Kivu, and potentially other provinces, to expand private sector investment using the concession model.


Last updated: March 28, 2018

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