New Project: Strengthening the sustainability of the Service, Innovation and Training Centres in Rwanda


We are delighted to share that Maastricht School of Management (MSM) in consortium with Holland Greentech (HGT) and together with the Rwanda Polytechnic (RP) and Rwanda Development Board (RDB) will continue its collaboration to strengthen agricultural public private partnerships in Rwanda, through a new Nuffic Tailor-Made-Training Plus grant.

Over the last 8 years, there has been close collaboration between the aforementioned parties through the SEAD and SEAD West projects to improve food security and strengthen the agricultural value chain in Rwanda, by realizing five Service, Innovation and Training Centres, better known as STICs, in the fields of agri-tourism, dairy, potato, horticulture and poultry.

The importance to continue strengthening Public Private Partnerships
Rwanda is predominantly a rural, agrarian country where most of the population work in agriculture where incomes are low. The strategy of the Government of Rwanda is to transform the country from a low-income agricultural-based economy to a knowledge-based, service-oriented economy with a middle-income country status by 2030. However, at this moment in time, development of the country is mainly driven by public investments rather than private investments and the job creation is less as envisioned. Therefore, Rwanda wants to transform its agricultural value chain through innovation, transformation, investments and public private partnerships. Especially the latter, “public private partnerships” is key.

The previously developed STICs that are in horticulture, poultry, dairy, agro-tourism and potato were Rwanda’s first constructs to strengthen partnerships between academia, government and industry. The STIC model is a Triple helix concept meant to bring together education partners and the private sector in production centres to promote and implement innovations. All facets of this STIC concept comes together in an orchestrated operation and where the education and private sector partners have committed themselves to a long-term partnership, serving the interests of both the education and private sector.

Lifting the STICs to innovative and dynamic platforms
Through this new TMT+ grant, MSM, RP and RDB continue strengthening the STIC concept and will follow-up on the extension of capacity strengthening of market-led value chain approaches through collaboration between academia (Universities/IPRCs) and the private sector. Further training, research and innovation will be implemented to strengthen;

  • The economic results of the STICs
  • To support the private agricultural sector and
  • To allow for opportunities for cooperation between partners beyond the scope of the previous projects (SEAD & SEAD West).

This TMT+ focuses on three pillars:

  1. Strengthening the capacity of the STIC management teams by diving deeper in the following subjects: strategic planning, governance, finances, value addition, upgrading business plans, PPP management.
  2. Lifting the STICs to dynamic and innovative platforms where the linkages between academia and the private sector are strengthened by having entrepreneurs, researchers and students work continuously on breakthroughs in the agricultural field. These innovation clusters will mainly focus on applied research to find practical solutions for existing problems in the agricultural sector of Rwanda.
  3. Built-up the communities knowledge and skills through community outreach activities. These training sessions will be carried out by Holland Greentech and focus on cultivation of horticultural crops, pest management / plant protection and vegetable cultivation.

Strengthening the agricultural value chain with knowledge and skills is crucial for improving food security
Within this new project, we do not only focus on strengthening the sustainability of the STICs and research but also on point #3 “continuing the development of the community”. By strengthening community knowledge and skills, individuals become better equipped to manage their agricultural systems effectively, adapt to challenges, and maximize productivity.

Ultimately, this capacity development project helps towards improved food security, better nutrition, and increased resilience in the face of changing environmental and economic conditions, through sustainable PPPs, applied research and strengthened communities.

This project will be managed by Veerle Barten, Project Consultant at MSM’s Expert Centre on Emerging Economies. The project will run from July 2023 until August 2024.

Orange Knowledge Programme
This project is part of the Orange Knowledge Programme (OKP) which is funded by the Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and managed by Nuffic. For more information click here.

MSM's Expert Centre on Emerging Economies

This institutional collaboration project is part of MSM's Expert Centre on Emerging Economies. The department is an expert centre on local economic development in emerging and developing markets.‚Äč We capacitate managers and professionals from government, private sector, NGOs, and post-secondary education in Africa, Asia, Middle East, and Latin America. We offer consultancy and customized training programs, and we manage complex projects in key sectors, e.g. water, agriculture and health. For more information click here.

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