The Embassy of United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Rwanda’s Ministry of Environment have kick started a process of supporting each other in implementing sustainable environment initiatives.
In a meeting held in Kigali – November 19, 2021 Rwanda’s Minister of Environment, Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamariya and the UAE envoy also discussed areas of mutual interests ranging from sustainable urbanization, renewable energy and others.
The UAE delegation including the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) Rwanda, which is funded by the UAE as a founding member country focused on showcasing opportunities and progress that has been made in both countries.
The UAE delegation led by Ambassador Hazza Alqahtani, elaborated on several policies and initiatives including state of the art technology that his country is implementing to address climate change and green growth which could be of interest to Rwanda to pick up.
These include the UAE Centennial 2071 & UAE Energy Strategy 2050; UAE Green Agenda on Transport and Infrastructure; Sustainable Finance; Renewable Energy and Youth Engagement.
The discussion comes at a time when both Rwanda and UAE have made a commendable job in implementation of key environmental and climate resilience driven agendas.
For instance, the UAE has aligned its economic and development priorities to reduce global warming by the end of the century, invested over $1.5billion in renewable energy projects across 30 countries in the Pacific and Caribbean regions and is among the first countries in the region to ratify the Paris Agreement.
Rwanda has set Vision 2050 to become a carbon-neutral economy by the middle of the century, Integrating environment and climate change in poverty reduction strategies in the current National Strategy for Transformation (NST1).
Rwanda also has a Green Growth and Climate Resilience Strategy (GGCRS) which underscores the importance of environmental sustainability and enhancement of climate resilience to Rwanda’s sustainable economic development vision and has made Global commitments(Paris agreement) with 2020 updated Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) for mitigation and adaptation for the period to 2030.
The difference however is that UAE has funding sources and already implementing key renewable energy and water waste management programs such as $350 million fund for renewable projects in developing countries and availability of $50m grant funding.
While Rwanda which policies and laws geared at environment protection which has seen 30.4% of land covered by forest and 38.45% of public forests allocated to private operators expressed need for is funding to meet its ambitious green growth goals.
For instance, Rwanda needs $4.55bn investments for Clean Transport driven by increasing urbanization and population growth, is expected to increase its emission from 0.53 million tCO2 in 2012 to 3.1 million tCO2 in 2030.
Rwanda also needs $5billion in investments to have Sustainable Cities in over the next 10 years, $3bn investments needed in climate smart agriculture by 2024 (25% for irrigation and 15% for resilience intervention), $1.37bn total investment needed by 2030 to achieve targets of reducing charcoal use from 83% to 42% of population.
And $504M investments needed between 2018-2030 in Water & Sanitation and Sustainable Waste Management with $440M planned investment by 2022 in Water & Sanitation.
Rwanda’s Minister of Environment, Jean d’Arc Mujyawamariya said Rwanda will be very interested in seeking support and collaboration in waste management, endangered species protection, clean transport and renewable energy among others.
“We also want to have a memorandum with UAE ministry of environment after we had discussion with at the COP26. The UAE has many areas of interest for Rwanda but among the top priority is waste management,” Mujyawamariya said.
She also said Rwanda will be looking to cooperate in protection of endangered species following several cases of wild animals that are moving out of the national parks injuring humans yet both the engaged species and humans too need to be protected.
Amb. Alqahtani said that his job is to connect Rwanda to relevant sources and opportunity especially that funding is available through many UAE initiatives, grants which are open.
“These funds are open to outside countries and this will be of interest to Rwanda following a visit and meeting of both Presidents who have for example talked about exchanging new technology in renewable energy,” Amb. Alqahtani said.
The envoy encouraged Rwanda to follow up on the opportunities which will enable the country to meet its green growth and climate resilient ambition.