Rwanda Green Fund on Thursday signed an agreement with the Global Alliance for Smart Cities and Smart Villages in Africa (GASCA) to develop Rwandan villages into "smart green villages" with an aim to build communities' resilience to climate change.
The deal with be facilitated by 20 Regions of Climate Action (R20), a consortium of private companies and not-for-profit international organizations that develop and secure financing for green infrastructure projects.
A green village is one that is developed economically using natural resources in a sustainable manner, without affecting the environment.
Environmental experts said that the climate-smart village approach is a key initiative that will go a long way to address climate change challenges on food security, promote adaptation and build resilience to climatic stresses.
Hubert Ruzibiza, the CEO of FONERWA said that they will start by identifying areas where a pilot smart green village will be developed before a large scale deployment of smart green villages across the country and eventually the African continent.
The agreement will ensure that environmental experts work on two possible scenarios namely revamping and enhancing an existing village or creating a new smart village by gathering various settlements together around a pioneering Smart Solutions-based infrastructure.
This smart green village ideally targets at least 200 to 300 households.
Officials said that by incorporating the term "Smart" to the Green Village, it means that besides having environmentally-friendly amenities, they will incorporate appropriate ICT capabilities in the villages to ensure their connectivity.
"In the Smart Green Village, we will bring all sustainable principles including low carbon gas emissions, energy efficiency. At this stage we are bringing model houses that are affordable with components of raw materials that are sustainable and that can be sourced and manufactured locally," he said.
The green village is located in a rural set-up with existing or potential activities in the field of agriculture in order to test the impact of sustainable energy use, connectivity, and smart mobility solutions.
The signed agreement will provide guidance to a project composed of two stages, including the pilot smart village site selection and corresponding detailed proposal development on roles and responsibilities to deliver the pilot smart village.
The smart solutions, in the village, demonstrate how communities can test, co-develop and adopt integrated options to increase their resilience to climate change.
"We think, if successful, we can export the solutions to the rest of the continent. We have model houses we will use in those villages and close to a year, we will have something to present," he added.