From 13-17 November 2023, the National Industrial
Research and Development Agency (NIRDA) in
partnership with Enabel’s Urban Economic Development initiative (UEDi project) hosted
and international conference on Bamboo for construction.The conference was
held at NIRDA’s Research Centre located in Huye District, Southern Province of
The 5-day forum brought together experts, researchers, policymakers, and practitioners from across the world to discuss and share knowledge and experiences on the use of bamboo in the construction sector.
During the forum, participants had a 4-day workshop opportunity to grasp the fundamental principles of effective bamboo design, select the appropriate bamboo culms for construction acquire expertise in various bamboo construction techniques by participating in the construction of novel structures.
Participants also had an opportunity to interact with the most experienced bamboo experts on topics including mastering the art of creating secure bamboo connections, building resilient bamboo walls “Bahareque”, developing skills in working with bamboo laths, and making bamboo beams to name but a few.
Officiating the conference, the Head of Cooperation at the Embassy of Belgium to Rwanda, Laurent Preud’homme said “Cities are growing at an incredible speed, across Africa in general, but in Rwanda in particular. The ambition of Vision 2050 is to move from some 27.9% of people living in urban areas today to 70% by 2050. This initiative is a strategic response to an ongoing dynamic of rapid urbanization.”
In his remarks, NIRDA’s Division Manager for Applied Research and Development, Telesphore Mugwiza said “The conference stands as a testament to our collective commitment to exploring sustainable practices using bamboo in the construction sector. It provides a unique platform for knowledge exchange and collaboration.”
In 2022, Enabel’s UEDi project in close partnership with NIRDA established a centre of excellence for bamboo in Rwanda. The mandate of this research centre is to promote knowledge management and the promotion of Engineered bamboo for the construction sector.
The development and promotion of bamboo for construction is a new concept in Rwanda; this international symposium for bamboo practitioners was organised to advocate for its adoption as a sustainable construction material.