Two Rwandan projects were selected among the sixteen international finalists for the Global green energy award (Ashden Award).
The prize is given to a leading project in sustainable energy that uses local clean energy technologies.
The local companies that were selected include AJDR Cooperative that makes efficient energy saving stove and Nuru East African Ltd, Rwanda which specialises in making affordable rechargeable lamps that are used in rural areas.
According to Placide Dieudonne Nzisabira, the president of AJDR Cooperative, his company was selected due to the change it has effected in people’s lives and sustaining the environment.
“Experts from London visited our projects and we explained to them how we make our stoves. They saw former street children we are helping to learn how to make the stoves and how their lives have changed,” he told The New Times.
“I think that’s why they selected our project among the best in the world, to the extent of making us finalists in the Ashden Award for sustainable energy in London”.
Nzisabira added that AJDR Cooperative has so far helped over 200 unemployed youth earn a living by making fuel-efficient charcoal burning stoves from scrap metals, heat retaining insulated baskets and wood-burning stoves.
The founder and director of the Ashden Award, Sarah Butler-Sloss, pointed out that the award aims at maintaining environment and to the benefit of poor in the world.
"Our dream is a world where access to clean, affordable electricity and fuel can be enjoyed by the poor, transforming living standards, reducing carbon emissions and easing the pressure on our dwindling forests.”
“The 2011 Ashden Award finalists are making this vision a reality, and their potential for expansion and replication is high. It is our sincere hope that others are inspired to enable their growth and follow their lead,” she said.
The Rwandan companies are among the five selected from Africa.
The finalists will compete for the $120,000 prize money and the winner will be announced at a ceremony to held in London on June 16, 2011.