A 4-day Annual Review Meeting was convened in Kigali between the University of Rwanda and Swedish partners to discuss activity plan for the financial year 2018-2019. The high level meeting is organized in line with Sweden support to Rwanda through Sida under the coordination of UR-Sweden Programme for Research, Higher Education and Institutional Advancement. The meeting will assess and discuss priorities, key performance indicators and revised planning for the next financial year to ensure the success of the partnership between the two countries.
Speaking during the opening, Amb. Dr Charles Murigande commended the holistic support by the Government of Sweden to the University and to Rwanda at large. He noted that Sweden was the 1st country to believe that Rwanda needed a strong and well-functioning higher education. Among the areas of support at the University of Rwanda he mentioned the improvement of research environment and institutional advancement to ensure efficient management.
Amb. Dr Murigande during the meeting
“Supporting education is the best way to support the development of Rwanda,” said Murigande who is UR Deputy vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement.
In his remarks, Mikael Boström the Head of Development Cooperation at Sweden Embassy noted that the meeting means a critical reflection of the past on what has not been achieved as planned. According to him, it looks on revisiting the main underpinning reasons and set the new targets to ensure good living condition to all people especially those living in poverty.
Mikael Boström; Head of Development Cooperation at Sweden Embassy
Boström added that the training research partnership looks on to strengthen institutional research capacity at the University of Rwanda so that Rwanda can have its own strong system of knowledge production able to address challenges related to poverty reduction and sustainable development.
In his presentation, Mr Raymond Ndikumana the Overall Coordinator of UR-Sweden Programme said that the Programme has contributed to UR’s ambition of becoming a research-led university. On top of a dedicated line and mechanisms for doing research, he noted that the Programme has supported area of innovation and sustainable ICT, research expertise in many different ways through trainings for PhD supervisors and improvement for skills in research management to mention but a few.
Mr Ndikumana during his address to the APM participants
At least 29 PhD students have graduated thanks to the Programme support. 33,000 e-journals already subscribed to ease access to online content while 9 in-house masters’ programmes are being run.
Among the key participants in the meeting was Dr Emilia Molnar, the Senior Programme Manager for Research and Higher Education at Swedish Embassy. During her presentation on Human rights based Approach within Research Cooperation, she asked researchers to ensure that the community benefits from their research results. According to her, there is a fine line between human rights and Research in the sense that for example “it is the rights of farmer to benefit from research results”.
Intervention by Dr Emilia during the meeting
Emilia also called for upholding academic freedom which enables academics to debate freely while doing researches that are guided by pure research curiosity without any political influence.
The meeting discussed proposals & letters of intents that will mark the extension of collaboration up to 2024. The new partnership is expected to result into critical mass of training in areas of poverty reduction and sustainable development while mainstreaming gender, environment and other crosscutting areas.
Sections of APM participants
The group photo by APM participants
By Darius Murangwa