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Optimism as Circular economy pilot project kicks off

A lot is expected as the National Industrial Research and Development Agency (NIRDA) in partnership with Enabel- The Belgian Development Agency have launched a Circular Economy Pilot project in the construction sector that is expected to promote green growth in Rwanda.

The project will be implemented through the Cleaner Production and Climate Innovation Centre (CPCIC) that operates under NIRDA and ENABEL -EUDi project.

Speaking during the kickoff meeting earlier last week, Dr. Christian SEKOMO BIRAME, the Director General of NIRDA said the Circular Economy Pilot project was key to the green growth of our country and such a pilot project is long overdue.

The meeting attracted experts from Government and Private institutions, academicians as well as development partners.

He said that the circular economy pilot project in the construction sector emanates from different international and national policies and strategies aimed at promoting green growth.

“Through the promotion of a circular economy, the country saves a lot of money, and we also protect our cherished environment. A lot is expected from us if our industries and institutions are to adopt and promote a circular economy in construction,” he said.

Some of these policies, he said include but not limited to the eight SDGs linked to environment development, climate change, industrial development & innovation, gender mainstreaming and the Paris agreement at international level.    

Nationally, Rwanda in its quest to promote green growth embarked on developing different policies and strategies that include but not limited to the National Environment and Climate change policy, National Green Growth and Climate Resilience strategy, National Roadmap for Green Secondary City Development.

Others include National Housing Policy and Rwanda’s National Strategic Plan for construction sector 2022-2027 under the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MINICOM).

For this project, its focus is on Pillar 1 of the National Strategic Plan for construction sector 2022-2027 seeking to “Boost environmentally integrated Production and Quality for competitiveness of Made in Rwanda (MiR) construction products” whereby Production technology and approaches are to be integrated into the local ecosystem.

This circular economy project in the construction sector is part of the already established partnership between NIRDA and the Belgian Development Cooperation (ENABEL- EUDi) to boost the construction sector through different initiatives such as acquisition of upgraded Machinery and construction materials among others,” said Dr. SEKOMO.

He added that NIRDA through CIPCIC in closer collaboration with ENABEL -EUDi project will work closely with VITO, a Belgian firm commissioned to support Rwanda in promotion of Circular economy  identify 5 to 8 experts from central level institutions that will be trained to ensure transfer of knowledge; the elaboration of guidelines in the construction sector and the incubation for guideline application among the private sector actors who produce Made in Rwanda (MiR) construction materials.

“Ten Selected companies will also benefit from best practices in the aforementioned areas regarding the promotion of a circular economy,” he noted.

The government of Rwanda under NIRDA with a goal to help industries, SMEs, and other institutions to apply best practices and embrace a circular economy established CPCIC

“It is expected that at the end of this project, we will be able to get a report enclosing a situational analysis on Circular Economy in Rwanda; guidelines for the circular economy in Rwanda’s construction sector,” SEKOMO

“Ten selected companies incubated and individuals from those companies coached; last but not least, between 5 to 8 experts from our main institutions will acquire training in Circular Economy and be able to transfer the knowledge to other staff even after the project ends,” he noted

It is expected that the Ministry of Environment, NIRDA through CPCIC, ENABEL-EUDi project will ensure close collaboration with VITO towards smooth implementation of the project.

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