The government, through the Rwanda Atomic Energy Board (RAEB) on Tuesday announced a partnership with Dual Fluid Energy Inc., a Canadian-German nuclear technology firm, which will see the first demonstration Dual Fluid nuclear reactor in the world set up in Rwanda. The nuclear reactor is expected to be operational by 2026, which will pave way for the testing exercise set to be completed by 2028, according to the roadmap unveiled at the announcement of the partnership. ALSO READ Rwanda to host first demo Dual Fluid nuclear reactor Under the deal, Rwanda will provide the site and infrastructure, while Dual Fluid will take charge of the technical implementation of the project. Rwanda’s hosting of this facility, which is principally set to eventually help the country produce nuclear energy to power the her development ambitions, is part of the country’s strategy to position itself as a proof of concept destination for emerging technologies. Positioning the country as a proof of concept destination will inevitably help bolster innovation capabilities of the country that continuously looks at her human capital as a critical catalyst for the realisation of her ambitious development goals. This is not the first time that world-class technology is tested in Rwanda, with immense results. ALSO READ: Kagame, nuclear body officials discuss Africa’s future in nuclear energy In 2016, Rwanda partnered with Zipline, then a young start-up, to launch the world’s first drone delivery technology, where the firm used drones to deliver blood - and later vaccines - to different hospitals in the country. ALSO READ A year later, Rwanda looks to expand delivery of medical supplies by drones The firm, which has now grown and is currently valued at over $4 billion, has since expanded its portfolio and now delivers food, retail, agriculture products and animal health products, among others. From their inaugural Rwanda operation, it has since extended its operations to other countries including Ghana, Japan, the United States, Nigeria, Cote d'Ivoire, and Kenya. This partnership not only helped the country get a head-start in terms of structuring her policy and regulatory environment to support nascent technologies, it also helped develop critical mass of Rwandans with vast skills in drone technology. In almost all these countries where Zipline has since expanded to, young Rwandan engineers have been part of the core team that helped the firm establish her footprint in new markets. Secondly, this ecosystem that was created through the progressive policy and regulatory framework for drone technology has also opened doors to indigenous firms, some of which like Charis UAS are currently able to design and build her own drones that they use in varied services. ALSO READ Charis UAS selected for Google for Startups Black Founders Fund Such proof of concept projects should therefore be encouraged, and most importantly, Rwandans must be ready to seize opportunities that come with them. For instance, we expect the country to grow a critical mass of world-class nuclear scientists in a few years to come.