Rwanda's Green Fund is leading the development of a Climate Innovation Centre and a Technical Assistance Facility that will support Rwanda's transition to a green economy. These two initiatives will support the country's efforts to be a developed, low-carbon economy by 2050. The best way to establish the centre and facility and how they will operate were discussed at a recent workshop with a range of sector stakeholders.
As part of the fund's support to both private sector and government agencies, the fund commissioned a scoping study to assess the opportunity to establish a Climate Innovation Center to provide support to early stage companies in green sectors and a Technical Assistance Facility to be made available to government agencies to step up efforts to mainstream and implement climate change and environmental issues in sector strategies.
The workshop included presentations by a team from The Carbon Trust who have been working with the fund to define how the centre and facility will support government agencies and the private sector to place climate change & environment issues at the heart of policy and business ventures.
Speaking at the opening of the workshop, Coordinator of Rwanda's Green Fund, Alex Mulisa, said that the Climate Innovation Centre will support both the public and private sectors to achieve green growth:
"By working with private and public sectors, we can harness the momentum for climate resilient development. The Government of Rwanda will continue to support the private sector because we need enterprise if we are to achieve our green growth goals," he said.
David Aitken, Head of Incubation at The Carbon Trust, shared different Climate Innovation Centre models and examples.
"Success factors for Climate Innovation Centres around the world include independence, market and industry focused and clear ownership from those who stand to benefit from such a centre. Successful Climate Innovation Centres are of value to partners, meets their needs and are co-designed by them," he said.
While presenting on the role of the Technical Assistance Facility, Marcos Sampablo from The Carbon Trust shared how such a facility can support Rwanda's climate mainstreaming efforts.
"Beneficiaries of the facility are government institutions. It will assist them to place the environment at the heart of their work," he said.
Closing the workshop, Alex Mulisa called on all stakeholders to contribute to establishing the centre and the facility and reaffirmed the fund's commitment to Rwanda's green development:
"Rwanda's Green Fund provides technical assistance to all applicants for investment funding. We want to expand this to reach everyone. Technical assistance must be made available to all so that policy makers and business leaders can make sound decisions," he said.
About Climate Innovation Centres
Climate Innovation Centres provide targeted services (such as training and finance) to assist the private sector – especially entrepreneurs and small-medium enterprises – to proactively and profitably develop innovative technology and business solutions to address domestic energy, resource and environmental challenges.
- Support for applied research, proof-of-concept, prototyping and demonstration of low carbon and climate resilient technologies, through links to industry and academia in Rwanda and internationally
- Promoting technological innovation and adaptation of existing technologies to local circumstances in priority sectors through business advice and training
- Linking innovation with finance through identifying international funding sources, supporting proposal development and providing seed funding
- Providing analyses and information on market and sector trends to assist entrepreneurs looking to enter key markets
- Proposing policy and regulatory reforms to help build an enabling environment that encourages private sector investment in green technologies and innovations