FEATURED: IRIGP adressing Rwanda’s socio-economic needs

The India-Rwanda Innovation Growth Programme (IRIGP) has recently concluded a Business Accelerator & Capacity Building Workshop, along with a Technology Expo, as part of the five (5) day Workshop at Hotel Lemigo, Kigali.

The IRIGP was launched in February 2017 during the State Visit of the former Vice President of India, Hamid Ansari, as a major Science and Technology initiative between India and Rwanda in presence of the former Prime Minister of Rwanda, Anastase Murekezi. IRIGP is the first of its’ kind initiative to be launched & piloted between India and Rwanda to strengthen the bilateral relationship purely based on Science, Technology and Innovation.

The prime objective is to address the socio-economic needs of Rwanda by linking Rwandan enterprises with cutting edge Indian technologies. In its’ very first year, eleven (11) Indian and Rwandan partners have successfully signed Business Engagement Agreements for technology collaboration in key focus sectors of Agriculture, Health, IT, Renewable Energy and Leather.

The bilateral initiative is being led by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), Govt. of India with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the National Industrial Research and Development Agency (NIRDA), Government of Rwanda being the implementation partners.

ZMQ Developmentinnovation is a customized technology content for behavioral change. MIRA Channel – A Mobile based rural women & child healthcare & behavioral change communication tool to be deployed in association with Rwanda Military Hospital, for a pilot in Nagatare. Objective is to help Health Workers, Doctors & Community Health Experts monitor & deliver efficient healthcare at the doorsteps of the citizens of Rwanda.

Central Leather Research Institute (CLRI), World renowned institute under the Department of Scientific & Industrial Research (DSIR), has signed an MoU with National Industrial Research & Development Agency (NIRDA) to prepare a road map for adoption of patented environment friendly Waterless Chrome Tanning Technology for Leather Processing and leading to the creation of a Leather Park.

Aakar Innovationsof India will provide a patent-pending machine, skill and train workers and provide raw materials to Sparklean Rwanda to manufacture first-ever 100% compostable sanitary napkins (turn to manure when disposed in a wet pit) at extremely affordable prices, besides providing behavior change, machine operating and sales training.  Aakar’s solutions ensure menstrual hygiene and health, saves billions of dollars in costs, prevents major diseases, and preserves the precious environment. Also, Aakar empowers unskilled and unlettered women and young girls as the unit can become a sustainable livelihood micro-enterprise. 

Swasti Agrohas partnered with Real Green Gold Limited, Rwanda, to introduce path breaking non-toxic biotechnology products to mitigate crop diseases and enhance crop yield from 20% ~ 40% that doubles the income.

Tejas Networks Limited- India’s No. 1 & World’s No. 6 Optical Transmission Equipment manufacturer and end-to-end solutions provider can deliver upto 100 GBPS internet bandwidth to end customers. Tejas will work with Rwanda’s Broadband Systems Corporation (BSC) to deliver broadband at affordable rates across the country to every citizen to enable financial transformation and stimulate socio-economic impact development. Tejas commits to establish a Centre of Excellence in training Rwandan youth to design, deploy & maintain the telecom network in the country.

SIMPA Networks Limited, India, will work with ERE Ltd. across the rural landscape to provide affordable alterative energy (solar) at affordable rates. SIMPA products include DC – Micro Grids for household electrification in Off-Grid locations in a Pay-As-You-Go Model. Additionally, SIMPA has tied-up with AHI Contractors to offer roof-top-solar power systems at affordable rates.

Science for Society Technologies (S4S)will work with Kirehe Umunezero of Rwanda on world-renowned Solar Conduction Dryers for Rwandan farmers. This food processing solution is used for drying tomatoes, bananas, tapioca, sweet potato, corn etc. Dryers are available in modular configuration for use on farms. Besides the Dryers ensures clean production of semi-processed foods. In addition, S4S has initiated discussions with Esline FOODS LTD, for sourcing varieties of Avocados & Passion Fruits.

S P Renewable Energy Sources& AHI Contractors Co. Ltd. of Rwanda have tied up to offer SPRE Flexi Biogas Technology to Rwandan Farmers in rural areas. The technology produces clean & smokeless biogas for cooking & other heating purposes. Besides, the digested slurry discharged can be used as bio manure. Cooperatives can deploy centralized biogas plants that are self-contained, installed within few hours & easy to maintain.

Kotecha Steel Forge, India partners with Champion Grocers Ltd. of Rwanda for post-harvest & food processing machineries for fruits & vegetables. These will enable farmers to produce high quality juices, grain flour & other value added processed foods. Kotecha produces a vast range of mills, grinders and agro implements.

Privi Lifesciences, India, has partnered with two (2) Rwandan Companies - B N Producers & Akanyenyeri Genuine Innovations Ltd. Privi’s novel organic agro-input helps crops to withstand water stress, absorb higher quantities of essential nutrients in the soil.

Akrity Computing Pvt Ltd, India, an innovative customs IT solutions provider, has offered a comprehensive Hospital Management Information System (HMIS) to the healthcare sector of Rwanda. It is in discussions with leading hospitals in Rwanda.

The workshop successfully concluded on 15th June 2018 with an interaction with Mr. Eric Rutabana, CEO, Development Bank of Rwanda (BRD), who was impressed with the presented technologies & assured that the Bank could seriously examine financing options for either joint enterprises and/or even the transfer of technology.

Sharing a statement, Mr. Harkesh Mittal, Adviser, Member Secretary, National Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB), Department of Science and Technology, Government of India stated “We are delighted to see the overwhelming response from both Indian and Rwandan techno-entrepreneurs to collaborate under the IRIGP. The partnership between Indian and Rwandan entrepreneurs is a testimony to our mutual trust, common aspirations and confidence in each other. We hope that such technology collaboration will lead to inclusive and sustainable development of both nations.” 

In a statement, Mr. Nirankar Saxena, Deputy Secretary General, FICCI said “The IRIGP aims to bridge Rwanda’s assessed needs by matching them with proven, demonstrated Indian technologies. The success of eleven match-maked enterprises in the first year shows that both sides are eager to collaborate and share knowledge for shared prosperity. We will soon expand this partnership to other East African nations and across the African continent”.

 

With great success in the 1st Year, IRIGP is poised to grow leaps and bounds moving into the 2nd year.

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