On July 17, 2015, the Sustainable Development Solutions Network Great Lakes (SDSN GL) held a conference in Kigali, Rwanda, onPreparing for the Implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).” This inception conference brought together 75 stakeholders from academia, research, civil society, international organizations, and government to share information about how Rwanda plans to implement the SDGs (see below for detailed list of presentations).

The conference was also the occasion of launching the SDSN GL’s first call for proposals for Solutions Initiatives. These Solution Initiatives are practical projects involving novel technologies, business models, institutional mechanisms, and/or policies that are promising yet unproven. They should address a well-defined set of problems, have a transformative impact on sustainable development, and be scalable following a successful demonstration. The proposals should outline solutions in the following key thematic areas for the network: sustainable energy, forestry management, ending poverty and hunger, and sustainable tourism. Click here for more information and for the application form (deadline is October 16, 2015).

The event also featured a lecture by SDSN Director, Prof. Jeffrey D. Sachs. The Rwandan Minister of Education, and former Chair of the SDSN GL, Hon. Dr. Papias Musafiri, closed the conference by stressing the importance and opportunity of the SDGs for the Great Lakes region, and the valuable leadership role that the network and its members can play.

The SDSN Great Lakes is hosted by the University of Rwanda, College of Business and Economics, and includes members from Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the Republic of Congo, and Rwanda. SDSN GL seeks to bring together a diversity of stakeholders from academia, research, civil society, the private sector, and government to jointly implement innovative solutions for sustainable development in the region. A number of institutions from the Great Lakes region have already joined the SDSN, and many more are expected to do so in the coming months.


The conference included the following presentations and discussions (click titles to see presentations):