The Government of Rwanda and Yale University have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to foster greater cooperation and collaboration in the areas of education and research in sustainable development and environmental protection and conservation.
The signing of the agreement took place during a visit by Minister for Environment, Vincent Biruta, to the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Affairs.
Minister Biruta was joined by the CEO of the Rwanda Green Fund, Hubert Ruzibiza, and the Acting Director of the Centre of Excellence in Biodiversity and Natural Resource Management at the University of Rwanda, Beth Kaplin.
As part of their visit, the delegation met with students and staff of the university who have conducted research on the circular economy in Rwanda. They also toured the Gentner Research Group on Air Quality Monitoring as well as the Centre for Engineering, Innovation and Design.
At the agreement signing, President of Yale University, Peter Salovey, spoke about the importance of forging new partnerships with African nations and institutions.
“I am pleased to be signing this agreement with the Ministry of Environment of Rwanda on projects to do with industrial ecology. We are proud to be a collaborator. When I became President, I announced that Yale would have an Africa Initiative.
“In the early years, this has included bringing many more students to Yale from Africa and figuring out ways for domestic students to have educational and research experiences or internships in Africa. But the most important part of the initiative is these kinds of research collaborations, and we are delighted to be entering into one with Rwanda today.”
Under the agreement, Yale University and Rwanda, through the Ministry of Environment and University of Rwanda, will pursue opportunities for collaborative teaching and research in support of the Sustainable Development Goals.
The mutually beneficial collaboration will foster an exchange of resources and capacity building to support the missions of the partners. It will also provide additional new opportunities for Yale students to conduct work and research in Rwanda, and for Rwandan academics to visit Yale University.
“I am very excited to be part of building this partnership. In Rwanda, we are facing environmental and climate challenges and so everything we do in response must be supported by research. Partnerships like the one we have signed are especially critical when addressing complex global challenges. Policy makers and academics must work together to ensure that the latest research is informing the strategies and laws we are creating and implementing. That’s why we are here today,” said Minister Biruta.
The visit by the Rwandan delegation concluded with a public lecture delivered by Biruta at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. Students and faculty engaged with the minister on the impact of climate change in Rwanda and the process undertaken by the world’s nations to reach the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol. Concluding his remarks, the minister encouraged Yale students to visit Rwanda to conduct research and support the country’s socio-economic transformation and environmental protection efforts.