Remarks by Teddy Mugabo, Head of Business Development at Rwanda Green Fund Experience Sharing Meeting with Burkina Faso Delegation

 

Good morning to you all.

Thank you for being with us today, and taking the time to travel to East Africa to learn more about the Rwanda Green Fund. It is a pleasure to host you here in Kigali.

On behalf of the fund team, I extend a warm welcome to Rwanda to you all. Our nation is a land of a thousand hills, but also a country striving to champion green growth.

Today, we are gathered to share some of our green growth experiences and our journey towards building a climate resilient Rwanda. I am pleased that we have this opportunity to foster south-south cooperation. Such knowledge exchanges are a priority not only for the Fund, but also the country at large.

The Rwanda Green Fund was established in response to the growing challenge of climate change and to facilitate Rwanda’s sustainable development.

The Fund was set up due to Rwanda's vulnerability to climate change and strong reliance on rain-fed agriculture and hydropower. To put the threat into context, Rwanda has already experienced a temperature increase of 1.4°C since 1970, higher than the global average, and can expect an increase in temperature of up to 2.5°C by the 2050s from 1970. We need to be prepared for and adapt to this massive change.

Rwanda aims to be a developed, low carbon nation by the year 2050 and the fund is responsible for mobilising the financial resources to make that happen. In addition to fund mobilisation, we also provide technical support to public and private projects that align with Rwanda’s journey to build a green economy and our Vision 2050.

To date, the Fund has committed investments of approximately 40 million dollars to 38 projects that have created more than 137,000 green jobs, provided more than 62,000 households with improved access to off-grid clean energy, and protected 19,000 hectares of land against soil erosion.

These investments have added 42,000 hectares of forest and agroforestry and protected 21,000 hectares of watersheds and water bodies. In total, the Fund has raised approximately 167 million dollars for strategic climate resilience investments. We are proud of the impact we have had over the last six years, but we are humbled by the challenge ahead and we are aware that much more needs to be done. That’s why we have put in place robust systems and processes to ensure our projects have a strong return on investment.

Every six months, the Fund makes a call for funding proposals, reviews eligibility criteria, and later receives full project documents. This rigorous process leads to a decision on financial investment for green initiatives led by any legal entity in Rwanda. This could be ministries, a private sector company or civil society entities. For the private sector, the call for proposals is open year-round. Our investments take the form of grants, co-financing and a credit line at the lowest rate of interest in the country. We are now in the process of establishing green guarantees and other innovative financial mechanisms.

One example of our investments is the Rwanda e-waste dismantling and recycling facility. The Fund partnered with the Ministry of Trade and Industry to invest close to 1.5 million dollars to establish a state-of-the-art e-waste dismantling and recycling facility which has the capacity to process more than 10,000 tonnes per year and will eventually employ 1,000 people in collection and processing electronic waste.

In the first six months of operations, the facility refurbished more than 400 computers which were later distributed to local schools. The facility is now being run through a public-private partnership by an international e-waste firm.

This experience reaffirmed the importance of public finance as a catalyst to unlock private sector investment. This approach may be useful for others as we work to improve both the electronics supply chain and the recovery and reuse of valuable resources.

Thanks to the agreement with the private investor, the Fund will receive a financial return on its investment - not just an environmental one - and the money earned from this project will be put back into the fund to invest into other environmental initiatives. That’s a major achievement in the world of climate finance.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Rwanda believes that the best way we can contribute to addressing the global climate crisis is to walk the talk and show the world that green growth and sustainable development are possible.

We were happy to win the UN Momentum for Change Award for Innovation in Climate Finance last year and to gain a platform to share our experience. We also often host delegations from abroad to learn from the Fund, and we are pleased to add Burkina Faso to our list of friends.

As Rwanda works to become a truly green nation, we are happy to exchange ideas and to learn from others, both in Africa and further afield. In November last year, Rwanda hosted the Africa Green Growth Forum that brought together international experts, business leaders and stakeholders to boost green growth across the continent. We will continue to support the country’s pursuit of green economy, and advocate for green growth across the continent. Our doors are open for learning, sharing experiences, and fighting the climate crisis.

To conclude, I would like to reiterate that while you have travelled to Rwanda to learn from our experiences, we are just as keen to learn from you and consider this visit a dialogue. We look forward to hearing about your experiences and how we can work together to build the green Africa we want.

Thank you for your kind attention.