Japanese varsity introduces banana textile in Rwanda


A 10-member delegation from Japan arrives in Rwanda today to conduct a seminar and workshop on the technology to convert banana fibre into textile.

The team, composed of professors and students from Tama Art University and officers from UNIDO-Japan will on Friday showcase the technology to a high-profile audience during a seminar at KIST.

They will also on Saturday conduct a training workshop of about forty Rwandan weavers drawn from across the country.

The events are jointly organized by Tama Art University, UNIDO Tokyo and the Rwanda Workforce Development Authority (WDA).

According to the Director General of WDA, Chong Fook Yen, the move is part of the ongoing efforts to broaden the benefits of the crop that is widespread across Rwanda.

"This is just the first step but we are looking at introducing banana textile as a course unit for vocational schools under our new training approach," he explained.

The initiative came after President Paul Kagame's previous visit to Japan during which Tama Art University students presented to him on what banana fibre extracted from Rwanda banana can achieve.

Chong said that the development was yet another testimony for the Government's commitment to promoting science and technology as one of the major strategies for transforming the country's economy.

The trainees will be people involved in the industry as well as education institutions which are interested to propagate the technology, he added.

"The training will be conducted just like a cooking school where by the technical process will be visually explained first and semi-finished products introduced afterwards," another WDA official added. "Hands-on practice will also be introduced to trainees."

The delegation is today scheduled to visit KIST and New Hope Technical Institute, a vocational training centre in Kimisagara suburb, Kigali City.

Jean-Louis Kayitenkore
Procurement Consultant
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