Forty-two Rwandans were yesterday bestowed with Master of Business Administration degree from Oklahoma Christian University, a US-based institution.
VIDEO: Oklahoma Christian University graduated 42 students in Rwanda. Source: YouTube/The New Times
The graduates specialised in various fields such accounting, finance, leadership and project management.
The institution began its operations in the country in 2012 following the strengthening of a partnership with the government on the initiative of President Paul Kagame in 2006.
Through the partnership, several Rwandans have benefited from undergraduate scholarships and at the master’s level they are offered 50 per cent scholarships.
The graduation ceremony, which took place at Christ Church in Gaculiro in Gasabo District, was presided over by Jeffery Simmons, the interim Dean of the College of Business at the university, and Education minister Silas Lwakabamba.
Prof. Lwakabamba called on the graduates to utilise knowledge gained to accelerate national development, through providing expertise in the institutions they work in.
“I welcome you to join the efforts to build a strong economy and development agenda through various private and public institutions,” he said.
The minister commended the graduates for beginning projects to give back to the community such as providing clean water to Rwandan people in rural areas and inspiring youth innovation and entrepreneurship through business plan competitions, creativity and innovation camps, and entrepreneurship summits.
Simmons said the programme had expanded in recent years, noting that it began with only 10 students who previously had to travel to the US before the university established an office in the country.
The university plans to increase the number of students admitted under the programme in the near future.
“We had a large number of students who wanted to study at the institution that we had to open an office in Kigali. The students take their classes online with the Faculty that we have in Oklahoma,” he told The New Times.
Simmons noted that the graduates would be a positive input to the nation’s development agenda based on the acquired skills.
“We try to instill in our students the ability to work together in a society and also the ability to be a creative thinker and a problem solver. The curriculum is designed in such a way that it can develop their skills to the benefit of the society,” he said.
Jean Damascene Gasarabwe, the director-general of Nyabihu Tea Factory who graduated with an MBA in Project Management, said the courses being undertaken at the university requires more input compared to other institutions.
He called on fellow graduates to put into action the knowledge gained for continued national development.
“The government is currently putting a lot of efforts towards development, I think we will contribute towards the national efforts,” Gasarabwe said.
This is the second batch to graduate from the institution in Rwanda, after 38 students graduated last year.