Flemish research institute to boost circular construction in Rwanda

Research institute VITO/EnergyVille in Genk will work closely with Rwandan counterparts to strengthen circularity in the country's construction sector. The organisations signed a letter of intent on Tuesday afternoon to enhance cooperation and ties with Rwanda.

Rwanda faces immense challenges in the coming years. Not only is the population expected to double by 2050, the country also wants to limit the import of building materials from abroad in favour of domestic raw materials. To meet urbanisation and the associated need for sustainable solutions, the East African country wants to apply the latest innovations immediately instead of undergoing a steady learning curve.

A pilot project by VITO/EnergyVille on circularity in the construction sector is under way in Rwanda on behalf of Enabel, the Development Agency of the Belgian government. The focus is on manufacturers of building materials, to see how circularity can be integrated into the entire value chain of their products.

Ten local manufacturers will receive circularity recommendations regarding their current business operations. The companies will be closely monitored and will receive an individual report and action plan.

Building business relationships

"The pilot project is a good example of how we can put our vision and mission in the field of circularity and sustainability into practice, thereby strengthening sustainable entrepreneurship within the construction sector in Rwanda," says project manager at VITO/EnergyVille Carolin Spirinckx.

The collaboration between the Flemish institute and Rwanda's National Agency for Industrial Research and Development and the Centre for Green Production and Climate Innovation "will focus on joint project proposals for additional research, publications for academic outreach and wider dissemination, capacity building, knowledge sharing and management and further building business relationships between Belgian and Rwandan industrial and public actors in the construction sector".



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