KIGALI - Kigali Institute of Science and Technology (KIST), last week, received an award dubbed “First Forward Prize” in recognition to the institute’s efforts to promote Rwanda’s architectural designs using local resources.
The award was a result of a competition held at the University of Architecture of Venice (IUAV) in Italy, which had attracted many universities from all over the world.
KIST won the prestigious prize after it entered into a partnership with the Italian university last year, and the two institutions are collaborating in conducting joint research and project development on the use of local and available materials.
“We had the best exhibition for local materials for architectural design and we were recognized as the best university in promoting this,” said Prof. Abraham Atta Ogwu, the Rector of KIST, said in an interview with The New Times.
“We showcased the construction of prototype building system with 80% natural materials such as banana stems, bamboo and coffee wood,” he said.
Ogwu stressed that Rwanda has a lot of local materials such as clay soil, banana fibre and bamboo which are wasted and can be used for construction, which he said can even go a long way in reducing the cost of construction.
However, Ogwu said the country still lacks skilled architects and the newly established faculty of architecture and design has only 61 students.