The Kingdom of Netherlands’ through the Netherlands Fellowship Programme (NFP) has sponsored 66 Rwandans to go for further studies in the country on Master’s level.
Sponsorship is awarded through competition. A total of 298 people applied this year and 66 were chosen, which is almost double the one of 2009, where 34 candidates benefited.
Speaking at the ceremony to see off the successful candidates, the Dutch Ambassador, Franz Makken, said that the programme was designed with the aim of helping to alleviate qualitative and quantitative shortage of manpower in a wide range of governmental, private and non-governmental organizations.
“Fellowships are offered to professionals to allow them improve their ability to contribute to the development of organizations that employ them,” Makken said.
The Ambassador also said that his country has been committed to supporting basic education notably through the sector budget support with about € 40 million, for the period of between 2007 and the fiscal year 2011/2012.
In his speech, the Minister of Education, Dr. Charles Murigande, thanked the Dutch government for its contribution to the development of human resources in the country. He hastened to add that the country is the leading sponsor in the field.
Murigande said that Rwanda cannot expect to achieve the Vision 2020 without human resources development because they are the wealth of the country.
The Minister congratulated the winners and encouraged them to work hard at school.
“Working hard has never killed anybody,” said Murigande, who also urged them to get access to various knowledge resources as much as they can which will help them come back and develop their country.
Speaking to The New Times, one of the winners, John Twahirwa, said that his intention is to come back and contribute to the development of the organization he works for and the country at large with the knowledge he will have acquired.