Kigali Institute of Science and Technology (KIST), has awarded the Secretary General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), Hamadoun Touré, with an honorary Doctorate Degree of Technology, for his outstanding contribution to the development of ICT in Rwanda and the African continent.
The degree was presented to him yesterday at the institute’s eighth graduation ceremony, that saw a total of 501 students graduate in various disciplines.
Presenting Touré with the award, Prof. Teresa Ayuko Akenga, a lecturer at KIST, said that he played a significant role in ICT by launching numerous projects based on partnerships with international organizations, governments, civil society and the private sector.
“He has played and continues to play a significant role in ICT. The Masters of Communications Management (MCM) programme at KIST is his brain-child and by using KIST as the MCM delivery location, people from Tanzania, Kenya, Nigeria, Sudan, Zambia and Rwanda have benefited,” said Ayuko.
In his acceptance speech, Toure said that he was highly honoured for having been awarded by fellow Africans.
“I am honoured as a son of Africa for having been awarded by my fellow Africans. I have received many honorary awards, but this comes as the first one from the African continent,” he said.
Toure also commended President Paul Kagame and the government of Rwanda for their untiring efforts in embracing and developing technology.
“You have a leader who dares to dream and dreams big for the country and for the African continent at large,” he said.
Graduands were awarded Bachelors’ Degrees from the Faculties of Engineering, Science, and Masters of Communications Management (MCM).
Of the 501 who graduated, girls constituted only 18.4 percent.
Speaking at the ceremony, Dr. Charles Murigande, the Minister of Education and the Chancellor of KIST, said that rate of enrolment at universities was steadily rising, but was irked by the fact that girls were still shying away from sciences which explains the small number of females in the field.
“I am disappointed by the low numbers of female graduates in the field of sciences. I don’t know why females are still shying away from the field and yet they are equally able to make,” said the Minister.
Meanwhile, Dr Ephraim Kabayija, the KIST board chairman, urged the graduates to embrace transparency in their respective places of employment.
“It is discipline that has brought you this far, but you still need it to succeed in the world of work,” Kabaija said.
“The world thrives on people with morals and integrity, which is what your country expects from you, coupled with hard work.”
Murigande informed five students who acquired first class degrees, that they would be awarded presidential scholarships to further their studies.
Henry Kalisa, Mariane Niyibizi Kagimbanyi, Jean Pierre Rutanga, Jean Marie Vianney Niyitegeka and Emmanuel Nkurunziza all got first class degrees.