The India-Rwanda Innovation Growth Programme (IRIGP) this week organised a technology exhibition as a part of the five day “Business Accelerator and Capacity Building Workshop” in 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.
The IRIGP is a first of its’ kind initiative to be launched and piloted between India and Rwanda to strengthen the bilateral relationship purely based on Science, Technology and Innovation.
The prime objective of the programme is to address the socio-economic needs of Rwanda by linking Rwandan enterprises with cutting edge Indian technologies.
In its first year, eleven 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.
Having successfully demonstrated impact in India, these Indian technologies are now ready to be scaled and replicated in Rwanda in partnership with Rwandan enterprises.
These technologies were showcased at the technology expo organised by the programme partners.
Over the course of the week, in addition to joint interactive and one-on-one mentoring sessions, the Indian entrepreneurs visited their Rwandan counterparts in the field.
As a next step under the IRIGP, the Rwandan entrepreneurs will be visiting their Indian partners in India to receive hands on training towards actual implementation of technologies.
Tejas Networks Ltd, which in collaboration with Rwandan company Broadband Systems Corporation (BSC) is implementing a national broadband project in Rwanda, which aims at seamlessly connecting the country on a high-speed digitized network.
Another Indian company Privi Lifesciences is partnering with two Rwandan enterprises, namely BN Producers and Aknyenyera Genuine Innovation Ltd. to replicate their innovation “Stabilised Silicic Acid Formulations” which mitigates drought, heat, stress and improves productivity and quality of agricultural outputs.
In her keynote address at the Technology Expo organised under the IRIGP Business Accelerator and Capacity Building Workshop, Winifred Kabega, Head of Investment Promotion and Facilitation, Rwanda Development Board said; “IRIGP is a much-needed collaboration between India and Rwanda. Today, Rwanda clearly understands the important role technology and innovation will play in the socio-economic progress of the country. We see IRIGP creating long-lasting impact and we look forward to achieving more together.”
Harkesh Mittal, Adviser, Member Secretary, National Science & Technology Entrepreneurship Development Board (NSTEDB), Department of Science and Technology, of the 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.”
Yogesh Andlay, Co-Chair, FICCI Start-up Committee and leader of the Indian delegation mentioned; “IRIGP is a unique “demand-driven” innovation and technology transfer platform. It has brought together more than 10 innovations and entrepreneurs from India and Rwanda. They have built partnerships to implement and deliver innovative products and services, developed by Indian innovators, in Rwanda and the East African region. We hope in the coming years this program will grow into a much larger collaboration between India, Rwanda and the East African region.”
Speaking at the Technology Expo, Kampeta Sayinzoga, Director General, NIRDA said; “We truly hope this is the first step to a mutually beneficial and successful collaboration. We appreciate the much-needed contribution of our Indian experts and colleagues. We are also happy to share that NIRDA has signed an MOU with CSIR for leather value chain collaboration and we forward to the successful implementation.”
Since its’ launch in February 2017, IRIGP has received a tremendous response both in India and Rwanda with over 230 Indian applications and over 300 Rwandan Expression of Interests received and evaluated under the programme.
The 11 Indian and Rwandan partnerships under IRIGP in the first year are expected to chart the course for a successful and long-term mutually beneficial partnership between the two countries.