Rwanda Standards Board

Hon. Minister of Trade and Industry opened the Regional WOrkshop on Sustainability Criteria for Bioenergy

Monday, 18th April 2011 marked the opening of the regional workshop on Sustainability Criteria for Bioenergy. This regional workshop was organized by Rwanda Bureau of Standards (RBS) in collaboration with the Swedish Institute of Standards (SIS) and facilitated by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) and the Embassy of Sweden. The workshop brings together experts from five East African Community Partner States and participants from the SIS.


At the opening occasion of the workshop, Hon. Monique Nsanzabaganwa, the Minister of Trade and Industry hailed the importance attached to the Standardization activities by partner states and stressed the importance given by the EAC in supporting its activities through the programme of strengthening institutional capacity in different domains. She furthermore noted that Bioenergy is the oldest energy recourse in the service of mankind as it is dated back to when you tamed the fire.


She argued that Bioenergy has a great potential to take an increased part of the energy demand globally; thus contributing to combat climate change. The Minister added that the total production of biomass in the natural systems is very large, roughly 10 times the total world use of energy for human society. So it seems to be no problem to take a considerable part of the energy demand. Bioenergy is perfectly complementary to the other renewable technologies and has to play a key role in a worldwide sustainable and renewable energy supply system. Sometimes you can hear that decreasing CO2 emissions is a too heavy economical sacrifice. But made in a proper way it could be profitable. As example we can show the development in Sweden since 1990. Simultaneously with a bioenergy increase of 80% there has been an economical growth of 40% (which is a normal level for Sweden during almost 20 years) and a reduction of the CO2 emissions with 10%.


Rwanda has to decrease the dependency on costly fossil fuel imports. Meeting this new goal of cutting our oil dependence depends largely on two things: finding and producing more oil at home, and reducing our dependence on oil with cleaner alternative fuels and greater efficiency. The first step was exploitation of the natural gas in Rwanda and some efforts are being made in production of biodiesel and bioethanol using selected crops.


To keep reducing that reliance on imports, the Government of Rwanda is encouraging methane gas extraction, exploitation and production.


In his recall, Eng. Patrice Ntiyamira the Deputy Director General in charge of Technical Operations saluted the initiative and highlighted that the only way for Rwanda and the East African Community’s energy supply to be truly secure is to permanently reduce our dependence on oil and develop relevant standards for health and safety.  He explained that the EAC has to find ways to boost efficiency so that we use less oil.  We have to discover and produce cleaner, renewable sources of energy with less of the carbon pollution that threatens our climate.