Two green economy entrepreneurs from Rwanda have won the SEED (Supporting Entrepreneurs for Sustainable Development) Award.
They were selected for their originality, social and economic aspect, and potential to impact local communities and the green economy.
The companies are the Compressed Biogas (CBG), a project operated by Dassy Enterprise, and the Modern Carbonization Programme.
SEED Awards are held every year to promote sustainable development through the green economy.
This year, 30 innovative start-up ventures in Rwanda, Colombia, South Africa, Ghana, Burkina Faso, China, Kenya, Sri-Lanka, and Senegal were rewarded.
According to the Operations Coordinator of the SEED Initiative, Amélie Heuër, the 30 awardees were selected out of a pool of 400 applicants from 60 countries worldwide.
“The winners, through the awards, will get opportunities to network and forge connections with their global counterparts,” said Heuër at the award giving ceremony.
Speaking to The New Times, the Manager of Dassy Enterprise, Francois d’Assise Nezerwa, said that his award winning project aims at providing compressed biogas to urban and suburban residents.
“In Rwanda, around 90 percent of urban and peri-urban households use charcoal and firewood for cooking. This is because they cannot afford the imported Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG),” said Nezerwa.
He added that he is aiming at building a pilot biogas generation and compressing plant which will ensure continuous production of biogas at cheaper prices.
Sabin Murererehe, the second winner, told this paper that his carbonized charcoal project aims at reducing the rate at which trees are cut for charcoal production.
Carbonized charcoal is produced in a modern way that protects the environment from pollution.
The Dutch Ambassador to Rwanda, Frans Makken, who was present at the ceremony, commended the two companies for their efforts.
He said that is through such efforts that MDGs can be achieved in a country like Rwanda that has limited energy resources.
The Embassy of the Netherlands and UNDP-Rwanda are partners in the SEED Initiative.
Congratulating the winners, UNDP Resident Representative Aurelien Agbenonci, called for more action-oriented approaches to environmental challenges.
“We shouldn’t be reminded by events that endanger our lives, but rather make choices and act on them,” he said congratulating the winners.
The SEED initiative encourages entrepreneurs to contribute to their local economies and communities while promoting sustainable management of natural resources and ecosystems, and reducing poverty, marginalization and exclusion.