Promoting off-farm employment and income in the Great Lakes Region through climate responsive construction material production

Projet terminé

High demographic growth in the Great Lakes increases the competition for scarce natural resources and boosts the demand for affordable housing. The project aims at triggering local economic development, improving working conditions and increasing off-farm employment through climate responsive building material production. Results of the first phase allow for a technology transfer adjusted to local needs and scaling up of the brick production value chains in the region.

Pays/région Thème Période Budget
Grands Lacs
Emploi & développement économique
Création d'emplois
Développement de petites et moyennes entreprises
Développement urbain
01.07.2016 - 28.02.2021
CHF  11’160’000

The region’s extreme demographic development creates a high pressure on arable land and natural resources. The fast-growing population consumes more and more fuelwood for cooking and for firing the bricks required for addressing the growing housing demand created by rapid urbanisation. Although the level of urbanisation is still low, the three countries’ urban agglomerations are growing at high speed. If the trend continues at the current level, the three countries’ urban population will nearly double by 2024.
To protect the remaining forests, the use of firewood in brick making is banned in Rwanda and restricted in Burundi, and DR Congo. Furthermore, governmental programmes in Rwanda seek to promote energy-efficient brick kilns and equipment for alternative building materials production, as well as Rwanda made products. As yet, many of these governmental efforts only have limited impact. SDC’s support at regional level to promote off-farm employment through climate and market responsive technologies in the building material value chain is therefore welcomed and needed.


Promoting off-farm employment and income in the entire clay building material production value chain by introducing and up-scaling climate and social responsive technologies.

Groupes cibles

At impact level, building material workers, rural youth and families.
Direct beneficiaries are entrepreneurs, raw material suppliers and business service providers, vocational training centres and research institutes, district officers and local decision makers, national authorities in charge of environment and housing.

Effets à moyen terme
  1. Investors and authorities along the value chain take informed decisions based on relevant key-information and expertise for transforming the sector into an inclusive industry for affordable building material supply
  2. Environmental and labour friendly local supply chains for Modern Bricks made in Rwanda, Burundi and the Bukavu Zone are established and prepared to scale creating up to 1’000 jobs until the end of phase II
  3. Demand for Modern Brick enables the sector to scale up

Principaux résultats attendus:  

  • Increased capacities and multi-level dialogue between key stakeholders of the construction industry and policy implementers.
  • Private players of the Modern Bricks industry interlinked and their capacities to effectively complete gaps in the value chain are strengthened (7 model production units in Burundi and Rwanda, 3 model houses established in Rwanda).
  • Gender sensitive models for Modern Bricks production are constantly optimized and validated.
  • An industry portal with technical, social, environmental and economic information on the sector is available.

Principaux résultats antérieurs:  

During the first phase, the authorities or governments in the region showed serious interest in establishing a domestic building material production with SDC support. In Rwanda, authorities see it as a solution to promote affordable housing. Thanks to the establishment of a knowledge database, local authorities made informed decisions on natural resource use and allocation. New sustainable alternative energy efficient technologies were introduced. Entrepreneurs were introduced to successful labour and environment friendly block- and brickyards. See annex 10 for a detailed list of results achieved.

Direction/office fédéral responsable DDC
Crédit Coopération au développement
Partenaire de projet Partenaire contractuel
Secteur privé
Organisation suisse à but non lucratif
  • Secteur privé étranger Nord
  • SKAT Foundation

Autres partenaires

Rwanda Housing Authority. In Burundi and South Kivu, environmental protection public agencies. Private sector. Technical expertise from SKAT networks like Swisstopo, CRAterre, and Greentech Knowledge Solutions.

Coordination avec d'autres projets et acteurs

Active participation in coordination mechanisms at state or regional level. Synergies with the World Bank urbanisation projects and other development partners’ projects. Value-chain actor’s facilitation.

Budget Phase en cours Budget de la Suisse CHF    11’160’000 Budget suisse déjà attribué CHF    10’945’389
Phases du projet Phase 3 01.01.2021 - 31.12.2024   (Phase en cours)

Phase 2 01.07.2016 - 28.02.2021   (Completed)

Phase 1 01.03.2012 - 30.06.2016   (Completed)