Simon Mustard, the United Kingdom’s Special Envoy to the Great Lakes Region, has called upon recent graduates from the Chevening scholarship to use their skills and help in contributing to the development of Rwanda.
He made the call during a reception held in Kigalli on Wednesday evening to welcome home Chevening Scholarship beneficiaries who have been studying in the UK for the last 12 months.
Thirteen students graduated for the 2016/2017 intake in different courses including business management, journalism, development studies, among other courses.
Chevening is the UK government’s international awards scheme aimed at developing global leaders.
Mustard pointed out that the Chevening programme not only helps in building a strong partnership with Rwanda but also helps to generate a generation for future leaders.
He encouraged the scholars to be supportive of the country’s efforts towards sustainable development.
“Rwanda has every right to be proud of where it is now. You are the future leaders, people who will be leading Rwanda on the journey it started back in 1994,” he said.
Denise Rwakayija emerged top graduate. She thanked the British government for having made it possible for them to explore such an opportunity.
“I believe the purpose of this initiative is to build capacity, to help the country prosper and I believe that my colleagues and I are set to accomplish this task. We are back in Rwanda and very eager to put to use what we have learnt which was our core objective,” Rwakayija said.
“We need to look at creating new opportunities, focus on home-grown solutions to take our country forward. Be it youth empowerment, mentorship, opportunities are limitless. These are things we can exploit.”
Emmanuel Muvunyi, the Executive Director of the Higher Education Council, challenged the graduates to put to good use the skills attained from UK universities.
“Now that you have come back home, you have this challenge to use the opportunity positively to develop this country. It is one thing to get an opportunity and another to actually make the most of it,” he said.
Muvunyi thanked the UK government for their continued support to Rwanda’s development agenda.
“The Chevening scholarship is not the only support that we have from the UK government, we have immense support for the education sector all through the education levels right from pre-primary,” he pointed out.
Chevening offers a unique opportunity for future leaders, influencers, and decision-makers from all over the world to develop professionally and academically, network extensively, experience UK culture, and build lasting positive relationships with the UK.
Funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and partner organisations, Chevening offers two types of award – Chevening Scholarships and Chevening Fellowships.