April 15, 2024

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Catalyzing a Zero Waste: Minister Mujawamariya Calls for Global Companies to invest in Rwanda’s Circular Economy

Rwanda’s Ministry of Environment was at the high table of the discussion on “Catalyzing a Zero Waste; Circular Economic System” during an event organized as part of the Seventh Global Environment Facility (GEF) Assembly held in Vancouver, Canada, from August 22 to 26, 2023

Dr. Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya, Rwanda’s Minister of Environment, took advantage of this opportunity to invite companies to invest in Rwanda and generate employment opportunities for the youth.

During the High Table discussions that took place on Thursday, 24th August, 2023, Minister Mujawamariya discussed the doing business in Rwanda, where one can register a company in just three hours, along with numerous incentives available for investors.

She aims to encourage specialized companies to invest in Rwanda’s Circular Economy sector by showcasing the available opportunities. This initiative is part of the country’s efforts to achieve its green growth aspirations and align with the global vision of circularity.

The Roundtable Discussion with Disruptive Entrepreneurs, Youth, Government, and Financiers was held at the Vancouver Convention Centre in Canada.

During her Intervention, Dr Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya said that “the basis of a circular economy is a zero-waste society, where everything that we produce and consume can return safely to nature or society.”

She added that “In a circular economy, waste itself becomes a resource, consequently minimizing the actual amount of waste we produce.”

“In Rwanda, we see the circular economy not as an option, but a must-have. To be feasible, however, there are some important foundations that need to be in place.” Minister Mujawamariya added.

Despite Rwanda being committed to become a Circular Economy friendly country, Minister Mujawamariya reminded that “Rwanda is a small market and we are unlikely to influence global trends through our purchasing power alone. That’s why we need a team effort.”

In conclusion, Minister Mujawamariye called for interested investors to come and invest in Rwanda’s Circular Economy Sector.

Below is her key talking points:

Q1: How does the circular economy fit within a zero waste and pollution-free agenda and the extent to which is a circular economy feasible in your economy?

The basis of a circular economy is a zero-waste society, where everything that we produce and consume can return safely to nature or society.

In a circular economy, waste itself becomes a resource, consequently minimising the actual amount of waste we produce.

In Rwanda, we see the circular economy not as an option, but a must-have. To be feasible, however, there are some important foundations that need to be in place. 

Q2. How is your government working with financial institutions to create circular systems? What conditions are necessary for Governments to be open for business? How can governments create a safe ecosystem to attract investors for circular transition? What do you see as the barriers? How are you addressing these?

To ensure a just and inclusive transition to a circular economy, Rwanda has developed a National Circular Economy Roadmap and Action Plan. 

This action plan provides concrete actions and clear direction for the transition to a circular economy. To finance the action plan, resources will come from both the government budget as well as external resources. 

Through the Rwanda Green Fund and Development Bank of Rwanda, the government has set up Ireme Invest – a one-stop private-sector focused green finance facility to spur investment in green growth and ensure business is part of the solution.

Financing our circular economy roadmap will require innovative facilities like Ireme Invest. However, that is not enough. We also need:

This is the approach Rwanda has taken and we are pleased to see a number of circular related businesses set up in Rwanda – such as Enviroserve Rwanda, which operates the region’s most advanced e-waste dismantling and recycling facility.  

In summary, to attract investment in and finance the circular economy we need:

By making these investments, we can do circular business, business as usual.

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