The Prime Minister last week laid the foundation stone for the construction of a multi-million compressed natural gas production plant on Lake Kivu, which he said will help cut the country’s dependence on gas imports. The proposed facility will produce gas for cooking, automotive industry as well other manufacturing industries. Upon completion, the facility is expected to produce some 40 million standard cubic feet per day (MMSCFD), which is equivalent to 990,000 cubic metres. Greater use of natural gas will also contribute toward the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as it releases less carbon dioxide into the atmosphere compared to other fossil fuels. The latest development adds to the already-existing efforts to produce electricity from methane gas deposits in Lake Kivu. Furthermore, the government is also exploring the feasibility of producing urea from methane gas, which would be used to produce badly needed fertiliser. The government has already earmarked Rwf100 million in the current fiscal year for studies. These initiatives will help cushion the impact of external shocks on the aforementioned commodities, which have seen a sharp rise in prices on the global market, first due to the Covid-19 pandemic and then the war in Ukraine. Local production will go a long way toward reducing pricey imports. Notably, it will boost national self-reliance targets. That said, it is important that the government continues to pursue strategic partnerships with the private sector with a view to further exploit the economic potential of Lake Kivu’s methane gas deposits, and indeed other resources around the country. Public-Private Partnerships is a great way to accelerate innovation and unlock potential even in complex undertakings, such as methane gas extraction and processing. It’s critical that the local private sector gets more involved with such projects in one way or another. Forging partnerships with foreign players with necessary technology and other capabilities is a good place to start.