Energy Development Corporation Limited (EDCL), a subsidiary of Rwanda Energy Group Limited, has announced a grant worth RWF45 million ($54,886) to IPRC-North for skills development in alternative energy.
The announcement follows after the State Minister in charge of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET), Olivier Rwamukwaya, had called on government to prioritise investments in this development.
According to the New Times, Rwamukwaya was speaking at a graduation ceremony recently held at Tumba College of Technology, also known as Integrated Polytechnic Regional College (IPRC-North), in Rulindo District.
Skills development addressing socio-economic challenges
Media cited the state minister saying that skills, such as fabricating solar-powered water heaters and installing biogas plants, should be prioritised to help the country address socio-economic challenges, which are aimed at reducing the destruction of forests through biomass energy use and tackling unemployment.
He said: “Vision 2020 aims at building a knowledge-based economy and vocational skills are key to achieving this. Local skills will also help promote locally made products.”
Rwamukwaya added: “We need locally made energy alternatives to reduce the rate at which we cut trees for firewood.”
It is reported that the minister echoed government’s plans of having 60% of high school graduates join TVET to scale-up job creation in the country.
Rwamukwaya further underscored the need to increase TVET schools and other professional colleges, adding that to achieve this, there is a need for closer collaboration within the education industry.
“For instance, there are 18 polytechnic centres across the country of which 10 are privately owned. The more students we have in this area the more innovations we get to local challenges,” he said.
According to media, Rwamukwaya also emphasised that the graduates’ role will be in boosting the Made-in-Rwanda campaign through helping to add value to and scale-up locally made products.
Meanwhile, the deputy principal in charge of academics and training at IPRC-North, John Bosco Nkuranga, declared that their students have so far made about 15 solar heaters, adding that the grant will boost their efforts.