The Programme is run through the partnership between UR (College of Science and Technology and College of Agriculture, Animal Sciences and Veterinary Medicine) and three Swedish universities (KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Umeå University, and Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences) as well as the regional organization World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF). The main objective of the Programme is to build capacity at UR in waste management, bioenergy and air pollution. The overall goal is to establish a long-term partnership between involved partners, which in turn will enable Rwanda to develop its biomass resources in a sustainable way with low environmental impact. The overall scope of this program is to develop household-, agricultural-, and industrial waste-to-energy systems based on valorization of different local bio-based solid waste materials and residues to promote sustainable development in Rwanda. Thus, the programme will contribute to improving the environment in several ways. First, by developing knowledge on technologies that reduce air pollution from inefficient combustion. Second, by diverting bio-based waste from uncontrolled dumping to materials and energy recovery. Third, by providing efficient and renewable (fossil-free) energy from new or underutilized sustainable biomass resources.
The general vision of this partnership is to build the research capacity within the University of Rwanda in the area of Sustainable Bio-based Systems for Energy and Environment. This partnership will strengthen the capacity of UR academic staff in best practice to access renewable natural resources in a sustainable and efficient manner, without degrading the environment. Through better use of different locally available biomass resources, air pollution can be prevented and pressure on forest ecosystems from today’s woodfuel use can be reduced.
The key components of the programme is a MSc programme in Water and Environmental Engineering (jointly with subprogramme E-WREM-SLR), sandwich PhD students and a PhD programme at UR. The Programme will promote research in order to assess the suitability of different technologies for recovering resources and reducing environmental impacts from different streams of biowaste, and also give guidance concerning the opportunities for improved management of organic waste streams in Rwanda.