UR-GIIH completes the innovation week, rewards the best innovative projects
The University of Rwanda in partnership with the African Centre of Excellence in Energy for Sustainable Development under its Grid Innovation and Incubation Hub (GIIH) have completed an innovation week.
The innovation week brought together energy innovation experts and stakeholders from Rwanda and the wider East Africa region to gather, analyze, and exchange insights on how institutional and research partnerships on climate-smart energy innovations could accelerate the actualization of Rwanda and EAC's energy policy goals.
While officiating the event the outgoing Minister of Infrastructure Amb. Claver Gatete lauded the efforts of the students who exhibited their innovative projects that are providing solutions to sustaining more clean energy for the country.
“We need new innovations and products that serve Rwandan communities, and projects that are likely going to be cost-effective for their users, reducing biomass while scaling up communities especially in rural areas,” he said. “With stable clean energy we can be able to power our industries, homes and also use it in research”, he added.
During the closing of the week, 5 promising innovative projects were rewarded. The grand prize of Rwf10 million was scooped by Gorilla Cooking Stove, a cooking stove that produces a blue flame from recycled waste and helps reduce the emission of harmful gases that are discharged into the air.
Noella Umuhoza, Product Manager of Gorilla Cooking Stove, expressed her joy upon winning the award, saying it is a starting point in the journey of working for her country. “I started my project targeting low-income households who cannot afford cooking gas, and end up using materials to cook that are harmful to the environment and their health,”
“With this prize I hope to take my project further and impact more communities, especially in rural areas so they can be able to use safe, clean energy while cooking and at an affordable price,” she said.
Alexandre Lyambabaje, the University of Rwanda’s Vice-Chancellor said: “We have incubated them, mentored them, and from here they are ready to take their products to the next level where they will be able to help and change more communities.”
“We will do more so we can connect them with more investors, so their projects can be stronger and not fail”, he added.
The Grid Innovation and Incubation Hub (GIIH) is one of four incubation hubs in the region funded by the World Bank.