If all goes well with the Rwandan government and solar energy company Energiya Global’s plans, the country will be headed to a brighter — and a much more sustainable future.
According to The Jerusalem Post, Energiya and the Rwandan government signed a memorandum of understanding and began negotiations late last year. When the deal is completed, construction of a 8.5 MW, 148-acre solar energy project will begin in the backyard of the Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village. Many orphans who lost parents in Rwanda’s 1994 genocide war reside in this community.
“We are very grateful that you can make the choice to invest in us as well as with us,” Rwandan president Paul Kagame told Energiyia officials. “There’s a great solar resource in Rwanda.”
By supplying eight percent of Rwanda’s energy, the solar plant is expected to encourage industrialization and job creation for the developing nation. The Jerusalem Post reported that solar energy education programs for the village’s youth and others will also be established.
“We feel that we are brothers and sisters with the Rwandan people, because we have also come from darkness into light,” Yosef Abramowitz, Energiya president and co-founder said in the report.
The plant will also generate economic growth, providing power to the country’s most important institutions while cutting spending for businesses across the board, according to The Jerusalem Post.
“In Rwanda we feel very much closely associated with Israel,” Kagame said. “We are happy to build on this, on these symbols of togetherness.”
The Agahozo-Shalom Youth Village, founded by Jewish South African-American philanthropist Anne Heyman, has ties with the Jerusalem-based energy company that is more than eager to contribute to the community’s progress.
“The challenge now is to figure out how to make this village and the ones that follow sustainable. We need people willing to invest in businesses – like the solar company – on behalf of the village. Then we are talking true sustainability,” Heyman told The Jerusalem Post.
Currently five percent of Rwanda’s electricity source, methane gas dependency and power contribution is likely to be cut once the solar plant begins operation. The clean energy plant will also muffle pollution generation, which stems from wood fire energy sources.