Kigali, Rwanda -3rd June 2020 the Global Green Growth Institute hosted the first of two webinars between Rwanda and Italy. The virtual meeting was hosted on the Africa e Affari network platform and organized in collaboration with the Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) and in partnership with the Italian Ministry for Environment, Land and Sea (IMELS) . The two webinars are business to business (B2B) discussions on the engagement with the Italian Private sector to enhance green investments and trade in Rwanda.
More than 150 participants joined the online webinar on 3rd June , with the opening remarks given by His Excellency Ambassador of Italy to Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi Massimiliano Mazzanti and His Excellency Ambassador of Rwanda to Italy Dr. Francois Ngarambe Xavier.
The webinars targeted all major stakeholders that have a key role in the green growth and sustainable development of the country’s economy in both Italy and Rwanda such as institutions, entrepreneurs, investors, developers to mention a few. GGGI is the implementing partner facilitating the memorandum of understanding of IMELS bilateral co-operation between the government of Rwanda and Italy signed in 2016.
The purpose of these on-line workshops and business to business meetings was to explore and promote Rwanda’s potential investment climate, promote green technology transfer and create business platforms and matchmaking between Italian and Rwandan private companies in the most relevant areas of intervention.The first webinar held on the 3rd focused on opportunities of investments and trade in Rwanda; the second webinar to be held on 10th June 2020 will be a practical dialogue for the private sector to create potential partnerships and collaborations between entrepreneurs. The expected outcomes of both of the webinars is to:
- Connect entrepreneurs ,investors and private sector institutions from both Rwanda and Italy, develop partnerships and commence with dialogue that will create synergies and match-making activities linking entrepreneurs and investors ;
- Increase awareness on market expectations in Rwanda post COVID-19 pandemic ;
- Enable participants to share their knowledge in doing business in Rwanda, highlighting challenges, risks and opportunities ;
- Create business platforms in most relevant areas for intervention ;
- Increase awareness on the needs of more sustainable patterns of investments in light of the COVID-19 crisis and
- Increase understanding of GGGI planned activities in response to the COVID-19 crisis
“Rwanda has set a good example for the rest of Africa by joining 80 nations to ratify the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and have recently submitted the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) partnership plan (enhanced climate action plan) to finance green economies and develop local energy production” His Excellency Ambassador Massimiliano Mazzanti said as he applauded Rwanda for their pro activeness.
The development of the world crisis caused by the spread of COVID-19 imposes a re-consideration of policies in the areas of health, environmental protection, biodiversity and climate change. The measures applied in Rwanda, as in many other countries, to contain the virus and protect the health of the population are producing stronger socio economic consequences than the health ones by affecting workers in many sectors. According to the IMF, growth will drop from 9.4% to 5.1%, with a strong negative impact on employment, particularly in sectors such as construction, tourism and manufacturing. This situation calls for concerted efforts both to mitigate the increasing vulnerability and launch more sustainable and green growth initiatives. Investments should focus on activities able to deliver green growth solutions, primarily on public health, air quality, environmental restoration and biodiversity, as well as creating sustainable jobs in many vulnerable sectors such as tourism, transport, agriculture, energy and manufacturing.
His Excellency Ambassador Dr. Francois Ngarambe Xavier added that “sustainable growth requires us all to step up our efforts in green economy for production, distribution and consumption across the spectrum of economic activities. The co-operation between the government of Rwanda and Italy and the support of European Union has made a significant contribution towards green growth and sustainable development ”
REMA : DDG Faustin Munyazikwiye welcomed all on behalf of government of Rwanda and commended both Italian and Rwandan government stating that “ the bilateral co-operation has propelled partnerships in the private sector which are seen as a driver of economic growth , in 2019 REMA launched the IMELS project for private sector engagement to promote and facilitate green technology transfer between Italian and Rwandan companies in green technology , agriculture , renewable energy ,agri-business, sustainable mobility and construction. Rwanda supports local industries and SME that adopt environmentally sound technology ; clean production and consumption opening a path to international investors and delivering their commitment under Paris Agreement and the enhanced Nationally Determined Contributions, with the implementation of Vision 2050 that will create additional opportunities.”
This webinar was contributing towards the engagement of Italian investors and the result of an extensive inclusive process of networking with the Italian counterparts. Previously More than 30 entrepreneurs showed interest in joining the mission and explore opportunities of investments and trade in both country’s, with particular emphasis on green growth initiatives. Areas of interest included constructions and green buildings, health, digitization, agri-business, renewable energy, sustainable mobility , eco-tourism and textile industry.
Inhee Chung , expressed her gratitude to the participants and to both the government of Rwanda and Italy in engaging the private sector as it plays a critical role in realizing green growth solutions in the country.
The webinar had a diverse list of presenters that gave an overview of the foreign investment environment, existing & potential partnerships , integrated approaches, blended finance , investment plans and opportunities within numerous sectors looking at innovation and technology , agriculture, food security , energy , infrastructure , manufacturing etc.
Philip Lucky – Rwanda Development Board (RDB) spoke about the opportunities of investments in Rwanda , with Simona Autuori from the Italian Trade Agency (ITA-ICE) Regional Office talking about the Italian private investments and trade and Luis Navarro the Head of Cooperation – EU Delegation in Rwanda spoke of European Investments Plan that gives support to Private Sector in Africa. Rwanda Honourary Counsel Representative Enrico Lalla Mora in Milan gave his practical experience in his capacity as a Diplomat and as an investor. The Italian Trade Agency has a crucial role in supporting all institutions and most important facilitates and promote partnerships linking investors and entrepreneurs between Italy and Rwanda through their events at exhibitions, workshops, training webinars.
Prior to this webinar the GGGI-IMELS Private Sector Engagement consultant Claudia Beretta who was the moderator for the webinar has participated in several virtual meetings with VadoinAfrica , E-Africa Business Lab, ASSAFRICA ,Italian Trade Agency ,SACESIMEST and AfricaeAffari whereby all organisations had the opportunity to share their knowledge on business opportunities in East Africa and for GGGI to highlight Rwanda prominent role in green growth, ease of doing business and transparency in the country.
The second webinar is scheduled for the 10th June 2020 at 15:00pm CAT , that will focus on a dialogue with the investors and entrepreneurs as they engage in practical discussion and exercise to link up business industry leaders with entrepreneurs and institutions.
Watch the full webinar using link below :