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FONERWA signs MoU with R20 to develop a smart village in Rwanda

Kigali, October 10, 2019-The Rwanda Green Fund-FONERWA has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with 20 Regions of Climate Action (R20) of Global Alliance for Smart Cities and Smart Villages in Africa (GASCA) that aims to establish a collaboration between the Rwanda Green Fund and the R20 with the purpose of developing in Rwanda a pilot smart village.

The MoU is meant to launch a ‘proof of concept’ in Rwanda which, if successful will lead to a large scale deployment across the country and Africa in general.

It will provide guidance to a project composed of two stages, including the pilot smart village site selection and corresponding detailed proposal development on roles and responsibilities of the various parties involved to deliver the pilot smart village.

This project ideally targets at least 200 to 300 people and should be located in a rural area with existing or potential activities in the field of agriculture and be sufficiently distant from other villages and locations in order to test during the project the impact of sustainable energy use, connectivity and smart mobility solutions.

GASCA through the Afrochampions has chosen Rwanda to receive the pilot project basing on the Rwanda Green Fund’s mandate which is to mobilize resources to green projects, according to Hubert Ruzibiza, the CEO of FONERWA.

At this stage the idea is to bring a model house which is accessible and with all sustainable materials but overall to create economic development around green principles.

“We hope that at the end this will not only create jobs and develop entrepreneurship and inclusion but also be spread around the country and export such solutions to the rest of the continent”, he said.

It will take at least two years to have something that can be presented, Ruzibiza has explained.

The Executive Director of R20, Dr Christophe Nuttall emphasizes that the project is about bringing to rural areas electricity with solar panel, provide technology facilities to the communities to get information which is useful to them whether it’s about health, meteology, the prices on the market so as they know what is going on and sells on good prices.

“We want also to add on a number of services such as waste management, agriculture, e-health, e-education, so it will be an integrated project based on private public partnership”, he said.

Once these technologies are brought from outside R20 will make sure they are being adapted to the local context and integrated in Rwanda in terms of job opportunity for youth.

A Green village is a village developed economically using natural resources in a sustainable manner without affecting the natural environment.  The concept of Smart green villages is basically to ensure that climate-smart village initiatives are properly aligned with socio-cultural and environmental circumstances.

Ruzibiza Hubert(L), CEO/Rwanda Green Fund, shakes hand with Dr Christophe Nuttall, Executive Director/R20 after the signing of MoU

About GASCA AND R20

GASCA is a multi-skilled alliance founded by top African companies and global players sharing a common vision around the importance to build sustainable innovative solutions in Africa. GASCA brings together private sector companies and experts able to propose state of-the-art solutions adapted to both cities and rural areas and designed to improve living conditions while offering economic opportunities through productive uses of sustainable energy and internet. 

GASCA’s objective is to mobilize, on a large scale, the private sector, the public sector and the civil society to co-construct new, renewable, digitally-enhanced, large-scale, impact-based solutions targeting local communities and meeting their needs. GASCA’S secretariat is managed by R20 with support of the AfroChampions Initiative. 

By Emmanuel Kanamugire

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