In most of the countries cost of rural electrification from grid extension is very high. This is mainly due to improper planning and lack of knowledge on low cost distribution technologies. Most of the African countries have followed European standards for their medium voltage distribution networks. But these standards were developed for high density, high demand centers in European countries. This often leads to oversized distribution networks with unnecessarily high costs for rural electrification projects. Hence it is essential to introduce low cost technologies in order to promote rural electrification projects. By analyzing various alternative methods introduced for rural electrification systems and comparing those with traditional distribution systems, an algorithm is developed to select optimum electrification method for rural areas based on their technology and cost. © 2017 IEEE.