Rwanda is contemplating going back to the drawing board to adjust its development policies to a smarter and greener development model.
The new model will be formulated in a way that, as the country pursues development, it consumes less energy while keeping the environment unharmed.
Rwanda’s Minister of Natural resources Dr. Vincent Biruta has explained this new paradigm shift will see Rwanda drift from a Linear Economic model to a Circular Economic model.
Minister Biruta made the historic announcement while addressing a panel at the ongoing World Economic Forum on Africa (WEF) that is focusing on connecting African resources through digital transformation.
Biruta said that the linear economic model is exhausting and overwhelming Rwanda because it primarily relies on large quantities of cheap, easily accessible materials and energy, and is a model that is reaching its physical limits.
With the speed at which Rwanda is developing, while considering keeping a safe and clean economy, this is the time to turn shift to a much cleaner, ideal, realistic and greener economic model.
Minister Biruta said, “the linear economic model is very extractive”, but Rwanda is looking forward to pursuing a new circular economic model which involves designing products that can be ‘made to be made again’ and powering the system with renewable energy.
“Transitioning to the Circular Economy will reduce emissions and resource use, protect our environment and create jobs,” the minister explained..
Presenting various business models that would support a circular economy, Dr. Biruta said the new economic model of development decouples growth from resource scarcity and is regenerative by design.
“Many of Rwanda’s Green Growth initiatives align with the Circular Economy – from energy to electronics,”Dr. Biruta said defending Rwanda’s readiness to embrace the new economic model.
Alex Mulisa, the Coordinator of Rwanda’s Fund for the Environment and Climate Change told the session that Rwanda’s Green Villages are demonstrating the Circular Economy in rural areas.
“We are doing this by integrating biogas, solar, rainwater harvesting and agriculture to create sustainability,” Mulisa said.
The plan is to integrate the Circular Economy into national policies and programs to support development.
The Session on Circular Economy was also attended by James Mwangi, CEO of Kenya’s Equity Group Holdings Limited, Eugene Haguma, CEO of Rwanda’s Horizon Group Limited, Pierre-Yves Pouliquen, CEO for Suez Environment, a French utility company and Fenella Aouane, a Principal Green Finance Specialist with the Global Green Growth Institute.
Later today at the forum, participants will launch the Circular Economy Regional Alliance in Africa.