GGGI partners with ISCA to support Rwanda on Sustainable Infrastructure

On October 04, 2018, the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) in partnership with the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia (ISCA) hosted a knowledge sharing meeting (via teleconference) on Sustainable Infrastructure for Government of Rwanda officials, critical infrastructure asset owners and key private sector infrastructure players in Kigali, Rwanda. Participants of the session included the Rwanda Government, officials from the Ministry of Infrastructure (MININFRA), the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MINICOM), the National Industrial Research and Development Agency (NIRDA), the Rwanda Transport Development Agency (RTDA), the Local Administrative Entities Development Agency (LODA), private sector infrastructure stakeholders representing NPD Contractors Ltd., Stonecraft Ltd., and independent consultants.

GGGI’s partnership with ISCA officially marks the beginning of joint efforts on sustainable infrastructure work in Rwanda. The discussion focused on the Government of Rwanda’s sustainability policy objectives and performance at the project level, Australian experience of sustainability in infrastructure with specific focus on Infrastructure Sustainability (IS) International rating scheme – a comprehensive rating system for evaluating sustainability across the planning, design, construction and operational phases of infrastructure programs, projects, networks and assets, and contextualizing for Rwanda. The dialogue pondered on the business case for sustainability with case studies on road transport, airport, waste water treatment, rail and renewable energy projects from Australia and New Zealand. The participants gained insights on ISCA’s Infrastructure Sustainability rating schemes and the benefits of applying the rating schemes in terms of energy savings, water savings, material savings, CO2 emissions mitigated etc.

GGGI’s work on sustainable infrastructure is aligned with the Rwanda Country Planning Framework 2016-2020 in supporting Rwanda’s development with new green infrastructure solutions by transferring and sharing knowledge and connecting Rwandan infrastructure asset owners and planners with international technical experts and support capacity development to operate and maintain new infrastructure solutions.

Speaking during the opening, Mr. Okechukwu Daniel Ogbonnaya, GGGI Rwanda Acting Country Representative & Program Lead pointed out that GGGI supports the government to develop a sustainable economy and infrastructure sustainability is considered one of the enablers of green growth. He further stressed that, “Rwanda is highly vulnerable to climate change therefore developing infrastructure that is considered green and climate resilient is critical to save resources and ensure long-term development gains over the life-cycle of the project.”

Mr. Jonathan Avery, International Development Manager, and Mr. Kieren Heikkinen, Case Manager both from ISCA defined infrastructure sustainability as “infrastructure that is planned, designed, constructed and operated to optimize environmental, societal and economic outcomes over the long term. He mentioned that over the next 15 years, the world will require about USD 90 trillion in new infrastructure – most of it in developing and middle-income countries. Consequently, making the right choices in favor of infrastructure that is climate resilient and locks in a low carbon development pathway is critical and urgent.

Government of Rwanda officials, Infrastructure Asset Owners and Consultants at the GGGI-ISCA discussion on “Sustainable Infrastructure Rating Scheme” in the “Go Green Boardroom”

This new partnership with ISCA, initiated as a knowledge sharing discussion has marked the beginning of many activities planned by GGGI in Rwanda to celebrate Urban October 2018 – a month long celebration with activities, events and discussions around urban sustainability to highlight the implementation of the commitments of the 2030 Agenda and the New Urban Agenda to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

Going forward, GGGI in partnership with ISCA will organize a webinar on Infrastructure Sustainability (IS) International rating scheme for government officials and private sector infrastructure players in Rwanda. In November GGGI will host the Rwanda Sustainable Infrastructure Roundtable, a side event to be held during the Africa Green Growth Forum 2018 (AGGF). This Forum brings together investors, policy makers and practitioners from across the continent to share experiences in green growth and climate resilient development. GGGI’s partnership with ISCA will explore potential interest from infrastructure asset owners in Rwanda to pilot IS International rating scheme in their new or existing projects.