Africa-Press – Rwanda. The National Industrial Research and Development Agency (NIRDA) has extended the deadline to firms engaged in the clay value chain producing construction materials to apply for funding to upgrade their equipment.
Early in December last year, NIRDA launched clay for construction materials value chain Open Calls Program aiming at supporting firms in the value chain to improve competitiveness and productivity of the industry.
The initial deadline was on January 10, 2021, but some applicants could not benefit from the technical support normally provided by NIRDA staff due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions for inter-districts travels.
As a result, the agency decided to extend the deadline up to January 31st, 2021 to look for needed documents and seek support from its staff.
“We have extended the deadline for application given that NIRDA staff could not support applicants as it is normally done while some applicants could not get all the required documents due to COVID-19 prevention measures that restricted movement,” said Dr. Christian Sekomo Birame, NIRDA Director-General
“While we have already received some applications, we hope that the extension will help those who could not apply to do so within the next two weeks so that no one is left behind,” he added.
Through the support, NIRDA partners with the Development Bank of Rwanda (BRD) to help firms and innovators purchase, adapt, and make better use of technology (such as equipment, tools, machines, software) as a repayable facility at 0% interest rate, no fees, no collateral.
Firms also benefit from cost-free technical and business advice to support the growth of their respective business to improve productivity and management.
Besides, selected firms acquire training on the best technology, quality production processes, and business and marketing strategies.
The applicants must have been operational in the clay value chain for construction materials for the last two years and be registered with Rwanda Development Board (RDB) or Rwanda Cooperative Agency (RCA).
They must have at least 5 employees and must be already processing construction materials.
They must also have sufficient space to host a typical clay processing plant.
Application is done through NIRDA’s website: www.nirda.gov.rw or [email protected]
For any support, query or more details applicants may contact NIRDA on toll-free on 1055. Those in Kigali and from its proximity may visit its offices at Kigali City Tower 7th Floor so that NIRDA staff can assist them in the application process.
Those who are in Huye district can also visit NIRDA offices and get assistance from NIRDA staff, according to officials.
Applicants can also send emails on [email protected] whenever they need support or need more information.