Bugesera International Airport that is under construction is on track to receive green certificate, making it the first in the region to acquire such.
This was confirmed at the ongoing Africa Green Growth Forum (AGGF) that started in Kigali on Monday.
Speaking to The New Times on the sidelines of the forum’s dialogue on climate resilience, the Minister for Environment Dr Vincent Biruta said that the facility, which is the largest publicly funded project, will be a net zero emission complex.
According to Frank Rijsberman, the Director General of Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), Bugesera will be among the first green-certified airports in the region, given that it will have a host of green building features promoting resource efficiency.
The New Times understands that the greening process is ongoing and the Ministry of Environment is working together the GGGI to achieve the green certification of the Bugesera-based airport.
"The single largest infrastructure investment in Rwanda's history, Bugesera International Airport, will be a net zero emissions complex through energy and water efficiency and solar power, making it one of the greenest airports on the continent once completed,” Biruta said.
The construction works on the proposed Bugesera International Airport are on course and the developer - Bugesera Airport Company - is optimistic they will meet the 2020 deadline for having concluded the first phase.
The new airport, once complete, will have a passenger terminal covering 30,000 square metres; 22 check-in counters, 10 gates, six passenger boarding bridges, among others.
Funded through a Public Private Partnership, the first phase of the airport is expected to cost an estimated USD414 million.
The airport is expected to facilitate several long-haul flights from Europe, USA and Asia.
Biruta stressed that the facility “is a huge investment but a sustainable one”.
“It will generate revenues but at the same time save the environment. Our aim is to make it a green certified airport. We are proud that this important investment in Rwanda's development is being guided by the principles of green growth."
During the dialogue, GGGI’s Rijsberman noted that green growth is not only affordable but also the best way to addressing climate change, commending the government of Rwanda for putting in place proactive measures to ensure green growth and sustainable development.
"I would like to bust the myth that Green Growth is very expensive. It is not only a necessity, it is also affordable," Rijsberman said.
The maiden Africa Green Growth Forum opened in Kigali on Monday with environment experts calling for stronger commitment to green building, sustainable infrastructure and energy efficiency as critical components to the continent’s sustainable development.
Biruta said that the forum will facilitate African countries to share knowledge, learn best practices happening around the world and create more awareness on opportunities that green growth path way to development offers.
"We are here to discuss about the Rwandan green growth and climate resilient strategy and how it will help the country to achieve Sustainable Development and how it will help to inform the rest of Africa and the world in the same effort," Biruta said.
The forum has brought together over 1,000 investors, policy makers and financial specialists from across the continent to examine the opportunities that come with green growth as well as some of the challenges impeding its uptake across the continent.