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Today β€” May 20th 2018IGIHE.com English Version

RBA marks 55-years

By John Mbaraga

The mother Radio in Rwanda, working under Rwanda Broadcasting Agency (RBA), was officially launched on May 27th 1961 in Kigali City.

However, the Radio broadcasting sets were in Burundi, former Ruanda-Urundi territory main headquarters.

In 1963, shortly after Rwanda's independence, regime, the radio also started to work independently in Kigali. That is where the most popular and oldest Radio in Rwanda started from.

RBA celebrated 55-year anniversary yesterday in Kigali, in the ceremony that took place in Kigali Convention Centre. It was a colorful event that was attended by senior government officials, former and current employees of RBA and general community among others.

The radio was under government control before and during the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi, and was used by the then government to cultivate hate among the people.

Silas Mbonimana who started to work for Radio Rwanda in 1982 said that ethnic discrimination was also inside the institution.

β€œI started when there was good mood inside, but, as days passed, things changed to bad because of ethnicity. Every person wanted to know others' origin, there were also extremists who wanted to harm colleagues,” he said.

After the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi, the radio was used to unite Rwandans and preach new vision by the government.

Until 2003, it was the only radio that was operating in Rwanda. In 2004 private radios were opened and brought different programmes which helped them to dominate the radio that had been there for years.

As private radios had soft programmes like entertainment and sports, they attracted audience than Radio Rwanda with the majority being youth.

The changes in the industry forced Radio Rwanda to join the race and introduced similar programmes as well as recruiting young journalists.

Future of the radio

Speaking at the event yesterday, the RBA Director General, Arthur Asiimwe said that in next five years, they want to reform Radio Rwanda and affiliated radios so that they provide content based on people's expectations.

β€œWe want to be a leading and trusted media house; we need improvement,.. we want to work without bias,” he said.
He said that in five years, they want to raise quality, embrace creativity and capacity building among employees,” he added.

Speaking at the event, Prime Minister, Dr. Edouard Ngirente requested the radio to continue to facilitate people along the development journey by providing them relevant information.

β€œRwandans need media that give them well researched development news. You have been doing that and we hope that you will continue. It is few months now since the government announced the seven-year government programme, the programme has different plans that Rwandans need to know about, so, they need deep explanations so that no one will be left behind,” he added.

RBA Director General, Arthur Asiimwe

IGIHE

Chief Justice calls for vigilance in handling genocide related crimes

By John Mbaraga

Rugege was speaking on Friday in Kigali at the commemoration of former justice sector personnel that were massacred during the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi attended by, among others, justice sector employees and families of slain victims.

He said that the value that should be bestowed upon genocide victims is justice which does not consider ethnicity.

β€œAmong what we should give particular attention is cases related with the genocide against the Tutsi. They should be fairly tried because when they are not properly handled, they can destabilize the attained unity and reconciliation among Rwandans,” he explained.

β€œI call upon prosecutors and Judges' attention when handling cases of genocide ideology, deniers and trivializers or when re-trying cases that had been tried by Gacaca courts,” he said.

Speaking at the event, the head National Commission for the Fight Against the Genocide, Dr. Jean Damascène Bizimana said that prior to the 1994 liberation, justice system turned a blind eye in pursuing people who initiated hatred and cultivated the genocide ideology among Rwandans.

β€œJudiciary is among sectors that paved ways for the genocide. Investigators and prosecutors were characterized by persecuting and judges were characterized by injustice, neglecting laws and violating human rights based on ethnicity; Tutsi were particularly desecrated,” he explained.

β€œJudiciary did not pursue politicians who initiated activities spreading hate and genocide ideology,” he noted.

He said that political parties like APROSOMA and Parmehutu started to spread documents cultivating hate and trivializing Tutsi in 1957 and 1959 through their papers.

Chief Justice Prof. Sam Rugege

IGIHE

Former presidential palace metamorphoses into arts museum

By John Mbaraga

The now Rwanda Arts Museum had been the residence of two Rwandan Presidents, Juvenal Habyarimana who lived there until 1994 and Pastor Bizimungu who lived there from 1994 to 2000.

Since 2003, the building had been Presidential Palace Museum and was under management of the Institute of National Museum of Rwanda (INMR).

According to INMR, changing the palace into arts museum came from visitors' request and artists who want to develop the sector.

Speaking at the launch of the museum yesterday, INMR Managing Director, Amb. Robert Masozera said that they are carrying reforms in different museums and today, three museums have been changed.

He said that they started from former environmental museum in Karongi, museum showcasing Rwanda's colonial history in Kigali and the next was Presidential Palace.

β€œThis is based on visitors' and partners' wishes; they suggested different changes in exhibition and the name of the museum. There were no historical things to see in the museum,” he explained.

β€œWe used to tell history of two presidents who lived here and people go uncontended, that is where we started to think about something that we can add here, and that's where we brought the art museum,” he added.

The same museum has been in Nyanza District since 2006 to 2018 in King Mutara III Rudahigwa Palace.

Currently, the museum has a total of 127 artifacts, among them 117 were in Nyanza based museum.

He encouraged artists to bring their artifacts to the place whose current monthly visits stand at 35,000.

Presidential Palace has been the fourth most visited museum, after the Capaign Against Genocide Museum, ethnographic museum at Huye, and Nyanza King's Palace.

Currently Rwanda has eight museums with 200,000 visitors and earn the country about Rwf200 million per month.

The launch of the museum coincided with the International Museum Day which was celebrated under the theme β€œHyper-connected museums: New approaches, new publics.”

IGIHE

Before yesterdayIGIHE.com English Version

Bank of Kigali to enlist on Nairobi Stock market

By John Mbaraga

Holtzman was speaking on Friday during an annual shareholders' general meeting of Bank of Kigali.

β€œWe intend to cross-list BK Group plc on the Nairobi Securities Exchange official list, the first Rwandan Company to go on the international Market” Holtzman said.

He said that based on bank's functioning and intensified use of ICT in their operations; they should work towards changes in customer treatment and shareholders.

β€œFor us to continue to lead, we decided to raise our initial investment to between $60 and $70 million in the second term of the financial year both on local and international market,” he said.

After listing to the Nairobi Securities Exchange, Bank of Kigali will be the first Rwandan company to go on the international market.

Holtzman said that the move is in the interest of shareholders as the Kenyan market is very rich, but do not invest in Rwandan market.

He said that once listed, they will help the development of local market.

BK Group Plc, Chief Executive Officer, Diane Karusisi pledged continued development.

β€œWe are proud to be the leading financial institution in Rwanda, be in depositing, providing loans for big projects, tax payment and profitability. Last year, BK earned Rwf23.3 billion of profit,” she explained.

In the meeting, shareholders adopted the annual report and audited financial reports of the year ended 31st December 2017

IGIHE

US commits more support to Education, Agriculture

By IGIHE

The American envoy expressed this today, in a press conference that followed bilateral discussions between him and Rwanda's premier, Dr Ngirente Edouard.

The bilateral discussions focused on partnering with Rwanda, and putting in action the government's Seven-Year Programme (7YGP) that was set last year.

Amb. Vrooman emphasized the importance the U.S. government places on partnering with Rwanda to ensure its youth have the knowledge and skills needed to drive economic development and build their future, especially in the Education and Agricultural sectors. He stressed the importance of partnering with all stakeholders to accomplish the goals of the Seven-Year programme.

β€œRecently, we launched a Rwf28 billion project to support agricultural growth and resiliency across Rwanda. The project, called Feed the Future Rwanda Hinga Weze, will be implemented over five years in 10 districts across Rwanda,” he said.

β€œSince more than 70 % of Rwandans are in the Agricultural sector, the sector is an important one and needs all the help it can get. This is why we are doing all we can to support so that Rwanda can accomplish the goals that it set.” Amb. Vrooman added

The new Rwf 28 billion project will directly benefit over 200,000 farmers. The project will help them grow at least 50 percent more crops on the same size of land by promoting sustainable use of fertilizers, improved seeds, irrigation practices and more.

Through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), each year, the US donates USD10 million, approximately Rwf93 million to Rwanda to support the country's development.

The United States Ambassador to the Republic of Rwanda, Peter H. Vrooman, has promised US support to Rwanda in the Education and Agricultural sector goals set in the government Seven-Year Programme (7YGP)

IGIHE

Senior citizens decry lack of specialized health-care

By IGIHE

The issue was pointed out during a a seminar organized by the Rwanda Elders Advisory Council (REAF) that was studying the quality of life of elders in Rwanda, yesterday18th May 2018.

Among problems that were pointed out by the senior citizens are; lack of medical doctor specialized in the treatment of the elderly adults (geriatric physicians), major depressive disorder or clinical depression, severe loneliness,alienation, abuse and neglect.

The president of Nsindagiza, an association of the elderly, Mushimiyimana Beatrice said that a recent survey done among the elderly people identified poor access to primary health care as a common concern.

This was further supported by the Rwanda Elders Advisory Council (REAF), Dr Iyamuremye Augustin, who pointed out that geriatricians whose specialty is taking care of the adults are lacking in the country.

Dr Rwamasirabo Emile who gave an insight into several diseases that are common among the elderly said that giving them healthcare support is vital to their well-being and longevity.

β€œIt is not doing them a favor because they have a right to healthcare,” Dr Rwamasirabo said.

The Government of Rwanda supports the elderly through the Vision Umurenge Programme (VUP) through which many are given cash and health insurance.

Officials from Nsindagiza, an association of the elderly, said that a recent survey done among the elderly people identified poor access to primary health care as a common concern.
Rwanda Elders Advisory Council (REAF), Dr Iyamuremye Augustin, pointed out the lack of physicians hose specialty is taking care of the adults are lacking in the country (geriatricians).

IGIHE

Suspected authors of hatred document released

By John Mbaraga

The suspects are the Director of Planning and Budget, Faustin Mutambuka and Province IT officer, Olivier Mutuyimana.

The duo had been arrested on Friday last week after finding the documents in the office of Planning and Budget. By the time five officials operating from same offices were immediately arrested for investigations, but three of them were released shortly.

Speaking to IGIHE, Southern Province Governor Marie Rose Mureshyankwano confirmed the news saying that she was told about the release by a colleague of the suspects.

β€œI heard about it from province official who is also a close colleague to those who had been detained,” she said.

By press time, efforts to talk to the Rwanda Investigation Bureau Spokesperson, Modeste Mbabazi were futile.

Early this week, Mbabazi told IGIHE that the document carried a message inciting hatred against the government.

However, Mbabazi did not reveal the details in the documents saying that there were still carrying out investigation.

IGIHE

Gatuna-Gicumbi-Kigali road re-opens to all vehicles

By John Mbaraga

The one side of the road had on Sunday been damaged and heavy trucks were diverted to Kagitumba-Kayonza-Kigali road.

Since then, the repair activities started and the traffic flow has now resumed.

On twitter, Uwihanganye said that the emergency repairs have been completed.
β€œRoad traffic resumes for all vehicles. Works for emergency repairs completed.

Permanent repair ongoing! Rwanda Traffic police is on the area for a continuous traffic management,” reads the tweet.

Since Monday, the road was being used by light vehicles and passengers' buses.
Police also confirmed that the road was opened for heavy trucks.

β€œUpdate on the Gatuna-Gicumbi-Kigali Road: The road is now open to heavy trucks. Police officers are deployed to the site to facilitate traffic flow as more road construction works are underway,” reads Police's tweet.

In a press conference on Wednesday, Uwihanganye had said that the traffic flow would resume in normalcy on Monday next week.

He said that reparation works started immediately to allow for quick restoration of flow.

β€œReconstruction activities have started. Machinery and technicians are in place. By Monday the road will be accessible to all vehicles,” he said.

The road damages took place in Cyumba Sector of Gicumbi District.

IGIHE

HIV Vaccine Awareness Day: Seventh vaccine under testing in Rwanda

By IGIHE

Alongside a cure, an HIV vaccine would be the only way of completely halting the spread of HIV once and for all. At present, an effective preventive vaccine remains years from fruition, but there is a lot of exciting progress that indicates the world is getting closer.

Rwanda is not any behind in the research that would one day lead to the world free of AIDS, the pandemic that has shattered the world since the 1980s, according to Julienne Mukamwezi, a nurse and counselor at Projet San Francisco (PSF), the only research centre on HIV in Rwanda.

Located in Kigali's Kicukiro District, PSF was established by the American researcher Dr. Susan Allen in 1986 for mainly conducting research on HIV and other sexually-transmitted diseases.

In collaboration with the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) and Rwanda's Ministry of Health with the funding of USAID, Ms. Mukamwezi told IGIHE on Tuesday that PSF has tested seven HIV vaccines on 274 people in Rwanda since 2005.She said the research progress is promising that time will come for an HIV vaccine.

β€œWhat we wish and hope is that we shall once day have an HIV/AIDS vaccine but we can't ascertain now the exact time that will be achieved,” she said

A vaccine is a biological preparation that improves immunity to a particular disease, according to World Health Organisation (WHO).

Vaccine testing procedures

Mukamwezi clarified that vaccines, like any other medicine, are first well examined in laboratory, then tested with small animals like mice, rabbits and then with animals which have many similarities to people like monkeys.

β€œIf these animals seriously suffer effects of the vaccine, that vaccine will not go beyond that stage of testing. If it causes no serious effects, the vaccine is then passed on for testing on human beings to see if the human body behaves like the animals' against that vaccine,” she said.
She cleared illusions that one may catch HIV during the testing.

β€œSomeone may think that testing an HIV vaccine on them can make them catch the virus, there is no way. There is no HIV virus in the vaccine. The purpose of the testing is to check if the vaccine increases the body's immunity and it doesn't cause serious problems to one's body. We keep teaching our vaccine's recipients that they have to guard against any acts expose them to HIV,” she said.

Since the PSF started HIV vaccine testing in 2005, the vaccines were proven to cause no harm to people. Most of the vaccines were able to increase the body's immunity against the HIV but the research continues because the immunity was insufficient.

Mukamwezi encouraged Rwandans to keep guarding against the HIV, remembering that it is still there without any cure or vaccine. He cautioned the youth especially who carelessly behave in a way that exposes themselves to HIV, urging them to value life and avoid wrecking it into peril.

WHO figures indicated that there were 36.7 million people living with HIV/AIDS in 2016 while 1.8 million were acquiring it and one million people killed by AIDS annually.

The HIV prevalence stands at 3% in Rwanda and AIDS kills over 2,500 annually.

Project San Fransisco has laboratories where vaccines are examined
Since the PSF started HIV vaccine testing in 2005, the vaccines were proven to cause no harm to people. Most of the vaccines were able to increase the body's immunity against the HIV but the research continues because the immunity was insufficient.
Julienne Mukamwezi, a nurse and counselor at Projet San Francisco (PSF), the only research centre on HIV in Rwanda.
Located in Kigali's Kicukiro District, PSF was established by the American researcher Dr. Susan Allen in 1986 for mainly conducting research on HIV and other sexually-transmitted diseases.

Jean d'Amour Mugabo

Police Week: Seized drugs destroyed in Burera

By IGIHE

The destroyed substances include 332 dozens of hot waragi and 5799 packets of other assorted contrabands that include Blue Sky, Chase waragi, Leaving waragi, African gin Soft gin, and 240 litres of kanganga.

The destruction exercise was also a moment to convey messages on fighting drug trafficking and abuse to hundreds of residents that turned up.

The vice mayor of Burera in charge of economic development, Evariste Habumuremyi and the District Police Commander, Senior Supt. Alex Fata presided over the anti-drugs exercise.

The psychotropic substances were seized in varied operations in the sectors of Cyanika, Gahunga, Kagogo and Rugarama, the DPC said, urging thanking residents, whose β€œcredible information informed successful operations and arrested of dealers.”

The vice mayor urged grassroots leaders to forge strong working relations with residents to create a solid community policing group to make their communities crime-free.

This year's Police Week that comes ahead of the June 16, 18th anniversary is held under the theme: β€œ18 Years of Partnership in Policing: Towards a Crime-free Village.” The theme defines the ideal of cementing the philosophy of community policing.

Habumuremyi also appealed to residents to strengthen neighbourhood watch, night patrols and other community policing groups to fight drugs and report dealers.

β€œThe rhythm is now on preventing new users and that goes with educating your children on dangers of drugs as parents and mentors, but also reporting dealers to ensure that there are no new drugs trafficked in through your communities,” the vice mayor told the residents.

Meanwhile, the DPC warned that the force will continue operations to arrest everyone still involved, and urged the residents not to wither.

Burera is one of the districts in the Northern Province mapped as the major transit route especially for illicit gin.

The destruction exercise in Burera follows a similar event early this month in which 258 litres of Kanyanga, 123 dozens Chief warage, 104 litres of Blue sky and 60 dozens Chase vodka, all banned gin and packed in plastic bags, were also disposed of.

Plastic bags were also banned in Rwanda, and trafficking, manufacturing, selling and using them is punishable by law.

IGIHE

Top Angolan security officials visit Rwanda Police

By IGIHE

Other members of the delegation included Angolan Police Chief, Alfredo Edwardo Manuel Mingas and the head of the prison services, Eugenio Pedro Alexandre.

The officials were received by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Emmanuel K. Gasana, who gave them an in-depth insight on RNP, right from its inception in the year 2000 to the current status.

The delegation expressed interest in learning more about RNP's growth and offered to send senior police officers for a "detailed technical exchange visit."

Minister Γ‚ngelo de Barros said that their visit to Rwanda is aimed at opening up more doors to strengthen cooperation between the two police forces.

β€œCertainly, there is going to be more exchange visits in expanded areas of public order management. Just like Rwanda, Angola has also seen hard times in her past and now embarking on enhancing her foreign cooperation,” he said.

He added: β€œIt requires Police-Police cooperation to tackle emerging cross-border security threats particularly, cybercrimes, drug trafficking, human trafficking, terrorism and money laundering, among others. Through this kind of cooperation, we can counter any negative forces that may want to destabilize our countries. It's time to take stronger steps towards realizing our cooperation.”

IGP Gasana explained to the delegation that RNP values Police-Police cooperation to effevtively address cross-border security challenges.

β€œWe are looking forward to a stronger partnership in policing, exchange of best practices as well as learning from each other,” said IGP Gasana.

Prior to his visit at RNP, Minister Tavares and his delegation paid a courtesy call to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Johnston Busingye where they also discussed areas of cooperation at a policy level.

Minister of Interior, Γ‚ngelo de Barros with Inspector General of Police (IGP) Emmanuel K. Gasana
The officials from Angola were received by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Emmanuel K. Gasana, who gave them an in-depth insight on RNP, right from its inception in the year 2000 to the current status.

IGIHE

Rwanda, German sign Rwf29.5 billion grant for technical development

By John Mbaraga

The three year grant was signed on Thursday between the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Dr. Uzziel Ndagijimana and the Ambassador of German to Rwanda Dr. Peter Woeste.

Ambassador Woeste hailed Rwanda's economic development in past years and added that he wishes for continued development through implementation of national transformation agenda under the partnership of private sector and non-government organizations.

β€œI am very happy for open discussions with the government of Rwanda, though sometimes we can understand things differently on some matters, this is a sign of true friendship,” he said.

Minister Ndagijimana said that the grant will be allocated in sectors that will enable the country achieve long-term targets.

β€œDevelopment partnership exists, and through this signed agreement, we cement the optimism and good relations between our countries,” he explained.

Every three years, both countries hold discussions and agree on development cooperation in different programmes. This year's discussions started yesterday to end today Friday 18th focusing on 2017-2019 development cooperation projects.

The government of Rwanda and German have cooperation relations since 1963.

Ambassador of German to Rwanda Dr. Peter Woeste and Dr. Uzziel Ndagijimana sign the grant
Ambassador of German to Rwanda Dr. Peter Woeste and Minister Dr. Uzziel Ndagijimana exchange documents after signing the grant agreement.

IGIHE

PM Ngirente launches national campaign against stunted growth among children

By John Mbaraga

Speaking at the event on Thursday, Ngirente said that the Government of Rwanda decided to eradicate stunting because of its negative impacts on sustainable development. He said that studies show that stunted children tend to be at greater risk of illness and death.

β€œThe launch of this multi-sectorial programme on combating stunting includes three projects that will target districts with highest stunting rates in Rwanda and accelerate reduction of stunting,” he said.

The programme will play role in increasing coverage of high-impact health and nutrition intervention in 13 districts with high stunting rates.
Nyabihu district has the highest stunting rates with 59% of children have stunted growth.

Ngirente said that ending stunting requires cross-cut partnership and called on parents to embrace early childhood development programmes, family planning and awareness about first 1000 days of childhood.

He pledged government support to families with children who are highly affected by stunting.

β€œWe shall not cease unless this problem is completely terminated. Rwandans achieved many things that were quite complicated. Terminating stunting will not conquer us,” he noted.

World Bank Group Country Director, Yasser El Gammal said that through good partnership with the government of Rwanda, they will continue to collaborate in fighting malnutrition which causes stunting.

β€œWe believe that Rwanda will make it, as Rwandans have demonstrated that what is impossible elsewhere is possible here,” he said.

In April, Rwanda and World Bank signed additional funding of $23 million (about Rwf19 billion) for the project to fight malnutrition among children.

Prime Minister, Dr. Edouard Ngirente speaks at the event

IGIHE

Kiziba refugees register to repatriate to DR Congo

By John Mbaraga

MIDIMAR Permanent Secretary, Olivier Kayumba said this on Thursday when the ministry was discussing the 2018-2019 Budget Framework Paper with the Parliamentary National Budget and Patrimony Committee.

Kayumba said that the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has registered 30% of Kiziba refugees who requested to be repatriated to their mother country.

β€œOn Kiziba problem, refugees said that they want to be repatriated, UNHCR started registration exercise to ensure whether it is true that they want to repatriate and 30% have been registered,” he said.

According to Kayumba, UNHCR says that there are some regions that have security in the DRC and will discuss with the government of Congo so that the refugees will go in secured places.

He said that the process is jointly being implemented by the UNHCR, the Government of Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

MIDIMAR Minister, De Bonheur Jeanne D'Arc said that it is the right of refugees to repatriate; however, they should ensure their security.

She said that they are yet to decide on the date of repatriation, but emphasized that they are free to repatriate.

In February, Congolese refugees in Kiziba marched out of the camp and camped at UNHCR offices in Karongi District, demonstrations which turned violent and resulted into some deaths and injuries.

The refugees were demonstrating against reduced food rations.

Kiziba Refugee Camp in Karongi District
MIDIMAR officials discuss with Parliamentary National Budget and Patrimony Committee

IGIHE

RCS dimly staffedβ€”CG

By John Mbaraga

This was announced by the RCS Commissioner General, George Rwigamba yesterday when the Ministry of Justice and affiliated institutions were discussing the 2018-2019 Budget Framework Paper with the Parliamentary National Budget and Patrimony Committee.

He said that there is need to beef-up RCS force for greater efficiency. Based on international standards, Rwigamba said that one prison guard protects 20 inmates, or below that number, but, in Rwanda there are no exact numbers because prisons receive many inmates.

β€œWe do not have standardized number because inmates increase against constant numbers of officers. Today, there's order in correctional facilities because of the way we structured security and services inside prisons with reference to local administration structure,” he explained.

Rwigamba said that though in prisons they have administrative entities like sectors, Cells and villages which help providing quick response to problem that may arise, the small number of guards still affects them.

β€œThis administrative process doesn't solve the problem of guards shortage, they are very few, they don't have time to rest based on different services like escorting inmates to court, hospital and in prison's daily activities. Guards from day shift also return during the night, and that is their daily routine,” he explained.

He said that they are preparing to receive 287 new prison guards in July, but, the number is too low to solve the existing problem.

In December 2017, RCS revealed that Rwandan Prisons had a total of 64,757 inmates with 1694 prison guards.

RCS Commissioner General, George Rwigamba

IGIHE

Muslims called on to foster peace, support vulnerable

By John Mbaraga

The call was made by Mufti Sheikh Salim Hitimana urging Muslims to review their revelation and avoid any temptation that could lead them to sin.

He called on Muslims to embrace prayers and being humble in their communities.

β€œIt's a time to review our revelation, this time our recompense to any good deed multiply several times compared to normal period. Beyond prayers, fasting is time to exhibit discipline, humbleness, visiting patients, elderly and vulnerable,” he said.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic Calendar. It is observed by Muslims Worldwide as a month of fasting to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to Muhammad. Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam and is observed annually.

IGIHE

Talent: Meet Nzirorera, the student engineer who develops unique architectural designs

By IGIHE

Born in Bugesera District and now a second-year student in Civil Engineering Construction Technology at the Integrated Polytechnic Regional Centre (IPRC Kigali), Nzirorera says he developed a passion for construction during his childhood and pursued it in secondary school.

With the encouragement of the college for innovation, Nzirorera found his skills insufficient to do anything new in Rwanda's construction sector. He started online courses with Archystore in Madagascar in April 2017 and later with Harvard University in the United States. He did Lumion software and Twinmotion, the world's best rendering tools.

Nzirorera, then, opened Golden Construction and Designing Ltd (GCD) in February 2018 and recruited a supporting team of seven including professionals and students in different construction-related fields.

β€œSomething new I have brought into Rwanda's construction sector is the use of walkthrough animation that Rwandans are currently looking for abroad. No one else is doing this here and if there is any, they are weak because all local big projects should not be going to foreign firms,” said Nzirorera.

β€œI am able to deliver any building design like Kigali Convention Centre and other world-class buildings wherever they might be in the world. I want to do more courses to improve skills about designing other structures like airports and stadiums. Meanwhile, I am trying to raise funds for redeeming my completion certificate at Harvard University.”

IPRC Kigali's Vice-Principal for Academics and Training, Eng. Jean Claude Benimana, told IGIHE last week that the college decided to support Nzirorera with offices and a good computer because they found his work as important.

β€œWe found his activities very important and decided to support him as we usually do for other students who show good ideas for implementation. We even want him to share skills with other students. We haven't done yet a thorough evaluation of his work especially because that software he uses is not what we teach here,” said Eng. Benimana.

First project delivered

In addition to some residential buildings, Nzirorera's GCD Company has delivered a project of a world-class tennis stadium which is set to be the best in the East African region, according to Eng. Valens Habimana, the Secretary General of Rwanda Tennis Federation (RTF).

Located in IPRC Kigali in Kicukiro District, the tennis stadium project is owned by RTF and Workforce Development Authority (WDA).

β€œNzirorera designed four tennis pitches in our first phase of tennis stadium. The second phase he also designed is about other facilities at the stadium such as lodges to host people who will be attending international competitions in Kigali. I found a talent in him especially because I am an engineer. He first showed me what he does and I showed him the project we had and I was surprised to see how quickly he understood it. That way of walkthrough animation he uses to demonstrate the design is really important,” said Eng. Habimana.

He said the first phase of the stadium has been completed at a tune of Rwf90 million and the federation is raising the funds for the second phase.

β€œWhen we presented the project in the presence of Rwandan ministers and officials from the International Tennis Federation (ITF) a fortnight ago, they admired it and promised to support it. I presented the project and even foreigners were amazed to hear that a Rwandan can design such a project and put it in a self-explanatory way of walkthrough animation. It looked new to many,” noted Eng. Habimana.

β€œWe have other Rwandans who can design that project but they don't have those good ways of demonstration which doesn't require the presenter to explain a lot. They do design but in our other ways.”

Other ways of demonstrating architectural designs include 3D and physical models which show a building in drawings while the objective of walkthrough animation is to give the object the physical properties as it would exist in the real world.

Nzirorera says the biggest challenge he is facing is about convincing people on what he can do because many say that they are designs he just copies from South Africa or other developed countries while others don't believe that someone as young as him can deliver a great project.

β€œOthers still question the skills of someone who acquired courses online. They think no one can be as competent as the one who physically attends the campus. I am trying to convince people by all means including developing designs that nobody is going to pay,” he says.

Nzirorera plans to keep expanding skills, offer training to Rwandans and make up a big team of competitive professionals who can design master plans of cities in Rwanda and abroad.

Nzirorera supervises the tennis pitches construction works to ensure they match with the design he made
(From left to right) Minister of State for TVET at MINEDUC, Olivier Rwamukwaya, Minister of Sports and Culture, Juienne Uwacu (second right) and ITF President, David Haggerty (third) take part in Umuganda at the Tennis stadium under construction in IPRC Kigali
Minister of Sports and Culture, Juienne Uwacu (second right) and ITF President, David Haggerty (third) take part in Umuganda at the Tennis stadium under construction in IPRC Kigali last month
The design of a building that will be hosting players at the Kigali Tennis Stadium under construction in IPRC Kigali. Design by Nzirorera
The design of Kigali Tennis Stadium whose first phase comprising four pitches has been completed

Jean d'Amour Mugabo

Diasporas requested on contribution in arresting genocide suspects

By John Mbaraga

Speaking recently to One Nation Radio, an online radio for Rwandan Diaspora airing news about Rwanda, the National Public Prosecution Authority (NPPA) spokesperson, Faustin Nkusi said that though they collaborate with international non-government organisations, Police and individuals in providing information that could lead to the arrest of genocide fugitives, Rwandans living in the diaspora should also put more efforts in the exercise.

β€œGenocide is a big crime, they should help us in providing information they could have so that they facilitate judicial system in their host countries or facilitate Rwanda to reveal the truth,” he said.

He said that there are many challenges which deter the arrest of suspects, like political will, identifying their whereabouts, disguising themselves by changing identification and nationality among others.

Also arresting process is hampered by countries which do not have laws punishing genocide crime, but require DNA tests for the suspects.

Currently, 17 Rwandans suspected on role in the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi have been extradited to be tried in Rwanda and 20 more have been tried in host countries.

National Public Prosecution Authority (NPPA) spokesperson, Faustin Nkusi

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