Two local firms, Nuru Energy and Great Lakes Energy, have been awarded tenders to set up 50 eco-friendly businesses in Bugesera District, Eastern Province. The initiative is under the auspices of the National Youth Environment Project (NYEP).
The Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) and United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Rwanda have given tenders to two firms to sell affordable renewable energy light solutions to the local population and also create employment in the district.
According to the UNDP’s Energy Expert, Henri Esseqqat, the tender was awarded to the two businesses, based on their solid track-record in establishing successful rural businesses.
“The Government has been working hard to create green jobs to ensure decent work to a significant number of young people leaving in rural areas, and we’re happy to be partners in this journey,” he said.
Esseqqat explained that the main aim of the REMA/UNDP renewable energy business initiative is to create renewable energy entrepreneurship component within NYEP.
“Several youths will be selected and trained on income-generation activities, especially through selling renewable energy in their communities,” Esseqqat explained.
NYEP was initiated by REMA in 2009 with the objective of protecting the banks and catchment areas of Nyabarongo river system, while creating employment opportunities the youth.
Sam Dargan, the Managing Director of Great Lakes Energy, noted: “This is a great opportunity not only for the entrepreneurs who will train but also for rural households that will have an alternative to kerosene from now on.”
Great Lakes Energy and Nuru Energy will provide free training and mentoring to young local entrepreneurs.
“We must tap into the pool of Rwandan young people; they are the perfect vehicle to spur economic growth through green jobs at the grassroots level,” Julio De Souza Nuru Energy COO. The renewable energy lights, also referred to as Portable On-demand lights (POD), will cost Rwf3,000 per unit.
POD lights will be available in two models; the solar energy lights and the kinetic energy lights. The solar one will provide an average of 4 hours of lighting, while the kinetic will provide an average of 20 hours of lighting.