Six ways Rwanda is building climate resilient transport systems
Over the last decade, Rwanda has invested in building efficient and resilient transport systems. Guided by the country’s Green Growth and Climate Resilience Strategy (GGCRS), the Government of Rwanda has carried out numerous initiatives to promote sustainable mobility and the green economy at large.
Road transport accounts for 13% of total greenhouse gas emissions in Rwanda and this is expected to continue to rise. That is why developing efficient and resilient transport systems is one of 14 programmes of action under the GGCRS. This specific programme of action has four key components that include:
Here are six ways Rwanda is building resilient and efficient transport systems at both the national and local levels.
Rwanda is developing a national sustainable mobility policy to facilitate the transition to e-mobility as the country continues strives for low carbon economic growth. The policy will strengthen collaboration between the private sector and the Government of Rwanda, attract investment in electric mobility solutions, foster new transport innovations and enhance the usage of non-motorised transport as a part of a wider transit oriented development policy.
Rwanda has seen an increase in major e-mobility investments thanks to the country’s friendly doing business environment. For example, VW Mobility Solutions,Victoria Autofast Rwanda, Ampersand, Rwanda Electric Motorcycle Ltd and Safi/Gura Ride have all significantly invested in electric cars and motorbikes. Rwanda welcomes investments that support the transition to clean and green mobility.
The estimated cost of transitioning to e-mobility and the adoption of electric vehicles in Rwanda is US $900 million. However, transitioning to electric motorcycles alone would save the Rwandan economy Rwf 23 billion (US $22 million) in fuel imports every year.
That’s why the Government of Rwanda has introduced numerous fiscal and non-fiscal incentives to fast-track the electric mobility transition and attract additional investments in the growing industry. These incentives include:
These incentives will make it easier for Rwandans to be part of the country’s efforts to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
Rwanda has been working to improve public transport infrastructure. In 2012, the government approved the Public Transport Policy and Strategy and the Ministry of Infrastructure ensures the national road network is expanded, rehabilitated, upgraded, and maintained. The same direction was reiterated in the overall National Transport Policy and Strategy for Rwanda adopted by Cabinet in April 2021, where the infrastructure development aims to ensure public transport connects different areas of the country, thus contributing to sustainable economic growth.
The City of Kigali is also working to increase the number of bus stations in Kigali and upgrade existing infrastructure to build the capacity of the city’s public transport network.
The Government of Rwanda, through the Rwanda Utilities Regulatory Authority, recently introduced the Public Transport Generation 2. The new system aims to improve public transport by increasing the use of technology, improving route planning, fostering a better vehicle mix and introducing a scheduled service.
To improve public transport, buses in Kigali are equipped with free internet for passengers and make public transport more attractive to users, thus discouraging usage of private cars. The provision of the internet is part of the Smart Kigali Initiative launched in 2013 to provide free wireless connection in buses and taxis, airports, hotels and restaurants among other places.
In line with electrification of mobility, Rwanda aims to have 20% of all buses electric by 2030, which will result in an estimated reduction of 72,000 tCO2eq.
The Government of Rwanda is working with a range of partners to achieve sustainable mobility and an efficient and resilient transport system. Key partners are the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), UNEP, KfW, International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the World Bank (WB). These partners are working with the Ministry of Infrastructure and other government institutions on the following activities:
Through a partnership with the United Nations Development Programme, the Rwanda Environment Management Authority (REMA) has also joined the effort to promote electric vehicles, including the following initiatives:
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