Rwanda Is An Example Of Environmental Sustainability In Africa, Begins Construction Of Green City

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Written by Peter Pedroncelli
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Rwanda stands out as an example of environmental sustainability in Africa with a new green city project breaking ground in Kigali in early 2020. Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda, speaks during the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017. Image: AP Photo/Seth Wenig

Rwanda has prioritized the need to take care of the environment through numerous government-backed green initiatives and it is now embarking on the construction of a green city in Kigali.

Earlier in 2019 at the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland, U.N. Environment Program head, Eric Solheim recognized Kigali as the “cleanest city on the planet“.

He was referring to both a lack of litter on the streets and the focus on green initiatives by the Rwandan government and the country’s people.

All non-biodegradable plastics are banned in Rwanda and the country has a monthly day of community service where streets are cleaned and new trees are planted, according to Matadornetwork.

In 2016, Rwanda introduced car-free days when no vehicles may be driven and in 2019 the country unveiled car-free zones in an effort to reduce air pollution.

A city designed for environmental sustainability

Rwanda is continuing that trend by building an environmentally-friendly and self-sustaining city in Kigali. Construction is set to begin in January 2020, VenturesAfrica reports.

The Green City Pilot project in Kigali, which is expected to cost $4.5 billion to build, will embrace green technologies and innovations for climate-resilient urbanization.

The green city will include environmentally-friendly mini-factories that use clean technologies, fully electric transportation, and 30,000 environmentally sustainable homes for around 150,000 people, according to Weetracker.

About 16,000 new jobs are expected to be created through the project.

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Once completed, the city is expected to include electric vehicles, electric bicycle and motorcycle lanes, renewable energy, sustainable waste treatment, biogas plants, and urban forests, according to TheNerveAfrica.

Germany’s KfW Development Bank is assisting with funding for the project. Sweco, a European engineering and architecture firm, is supporting Rwanda in implementing the city, TheNewTimes reports.