Kigali Genocide Memorial opens global centre for humanity

The Government has expressed its commitment to continue supporting Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre at Gisozi that yesterday marked its 10th anniversary as a place of memory and a centre for education to prevent genocide in the country and elsewhere in the world.
Visitors look at wall pictures at Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre in Gisozi depicting the impact of the Genocide. (Timothy Kisambira)
Visitors look at wall pictures at Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre in Gisozi depicting the impact of the Genocide. (Timothy Kisambira)

The Government has expressed its commitment to continue supporting Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre at Gisozi that yesterday marked its 10th anniversary as a place of memory and a centre for education to prevent genocide in the country and elsewhere in the world.

This was said by the Minister for Youth and ICT, Philbert Nsengimana, during an event to mark the centre’s 10th anniversary. 

The event also doubled as the launch of Global Centre for Humanity, which will be run by Aagis Trust, a nongovernmental organisation that runs the centre.

The minister said the centre has in the last 10 years played a key role in preserving the memory and safeguarding the facts, thus fighting genocide ideology.

“Twenty years after the 1994 Genocide and 10 years after its establishment, we salute the centre for preserving the memory and safeguarding the facts. We owe this effort not only to ourselves and to the world today, but also to the future generation as historic clarity was a point the President has highlighted,” Nsingimana said.

In his 20th commemoration speech, President Paul Kagame highlighted thinking big as a choice Rwandans had made and the launch of Global Centre for Humanity would be living true to that by sharing lessons from the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi with the world.

“The launch of the centre represents the think big philosophy. There is already a proven track record in archiving, preserving and documentation for purposes of education to create resilience against genocide everywhere in the world.”

The minister lauded the centre for embracing ICT and technology to expand its work and reach out to people beyond Rwanda’s borders.

The Global Centre for Humanity, which is still under construction, will include an outdoor amphitheatre, classroom pavilions and a resource centre that will host Genocide archives in various forms.

Aegis Trust chief executive James Smith said government support during the 10-year partnership was crucial to the centre’s growth.

“The cooperation had it clear in the first place that the centre’s purpose would not be to accuse children of perpetrators but rather the genocide ideology which we are still trying to achieve,” Dr Smith said.

Aegis Country Director Freddy Mutanguha, who also heads the memorial centre, said they will keep adding new features to increasingly share the lessons from the 1994 Genocide as well as to keep the memories alive.

Yves Kamuronsi, the deputy country director of Aegis Trust, said the centre seeks to ensure that stories of survivors continue to teach Rwandans how to live and get on after a difficult past.

The memorial centre, a UN world heritage site, works in collaboration with partners such as USC Shoah Foundation from California, Institute of War Holocaust and Genocide Studies in Netherlands, and the University of Texas, Austin.

 

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