Published On: Sun, Oct 19th, 2014

Israel Helping Rwanda with Green Technology


Israel is helping the poor east African nation of Rwanda save millions of dollars a year through recycling and green technology.

For its first twenty five years in existence, Israel engaged in a massive program to bring its agricultural expertise to the African continent. Israelis, many of whom had pioneered new farming techniques on kibbutzim, went to Africa to share their knowledge.

But this program came to a sudden end after 1973’s Yom Kippur War when Arab Nations put pressure on African Nations to sever all ties with Israel.

Today the Israel-Africa relationship has made a comeback. Now the assistance that Israel is providing the neighboring continent comes in the field of green and echo friendly new technologies in which the Jewish State has become one of the world’s foremost innovators.

Rwanda says that it will save more than $400, 000 annually from collecting and recycling water, use of solar energy, and use of technology to save papers. It will spend $1.8 million to facilitate the program, referred to as the Green Parliament, where the Israeli Parliament, the Knesset, will share its expertise.

The Knesset Director General, Ronen Plot said they began with installing a 4, 650 sqm solar array on Rwanda’s parliament rooftop in January 2014. He led a 7-member delegation of lawmakers from the Knesset.

With the solar facility, which includes a water heater, incandescent bulbs in the building have been replaced with power saving LEDs. Sosthene Cyitatire, the Rwanda Senate Clerk said the parliament will save $7, 500 on electricity per month.

The Knesset is also helping with paper saving techniques by using internet in committee discussions and plenaries instead of piles of printed papers. Rwanda has 106 legislators – all with 3G connected laptops. Over 50, 000 pages per year will be saved.

The two countries say that they are forging stronger bilateral ties, largely shaped by shared interest; historical and political. They have faced the worst catastrophes in human history. Over 6 million Jews were killed during the Holocaust. Rwanda’s 1994 genocide wiped out over one million Tutsi in 100 days.

The Israeli delegation in Rwanda last week visited the Kigali Memorial Center, where 300, 000 Tutsi genocide victims are laid. Plot said: “We are not only brothers, but twins. We share a common destiny.”

Energiya Global, the world’s leading investor in solar fields, has invested $23.7m in a 8.5MW plant.

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