• Florida State University to build similar campus in Rwanda
URUGWIRO VILLAGE - President Paul Kagame was yesterday presented with an honorary Doctor of Laws Degree by a Florida State University (FSU). The ceremony took place at his office in Urugwiro Village.
The leader of the FSU delegation, Dr. Jim Pitts, said it was in recognition of Kagame’s accomplishments, particularly, his “commitment to peaceful reconciliation, education and economic development of Rwanda.”
Dr Pitt read the citation which described President Kagame as a “an inspirational leader of your homeland, recognised for your work in promoting peaceful solutions to conflict, known for your key role in economic development of the African continent, advocate for the economic and political advancement of women, friend of The Florida State University”
Last February, President Kagame received the “Spirit of Pepper Award” from the Claude Pepper Centre of the Tallahassee based university.
“My comment is that of great pleasure, to be given such an honour by a great University like Florida State University, a University with which the country and myself have very good relations,” Kagame responded when a reporter sought for his comment.
President Kagame, however, underlined that the honorary degree, even though awarded to him, was “really, also through me to the country.”
“I think it is in recognition of the good work of Rwanda and all of us working together,” he said.
Speaking to reporters later, Pitts who is also the Director of International Programmes and Professor of Business, confirmed this.
“He (Kagame) has truly performed a miracle of the century in bringing the people back together and healing and bringing about peaceful reconciliation – in moving the country forward through education and economic development,” he noted.
Kagame stressed that it was for what, “we have done to rebuild the country and move it forward”, emphatically pointing out that one of the pillars on which the country has been built is education.
“Education has been very central to all we have been doing and many things that have brought the society back together and kept it moving forward.”
He concluded his brief comment, restating that the honorary doctorate degree he had just received is, “shared by every one in this country and we appreciate that.” Meanwhile, it was also revealed that FSU plans to build a campus in Rwanda.
“We want to pursue the possibility of building a campus here in Rwanda,” Pitts said, underscoring that “when?” would depend on “economic circumstances and our ability to marshal the resources.”
Education Minister Daphrose Gahakwa revealed that three possible locations – Nyamata (in Bugesera district), Masaka and Gasabo, have been identified.
The visiting delegation also met with top officials from the Ministry of Education (Mineduc) to sign a Memorandum of Understanding aimed at strengthening collaboration between the American university and Rwanda through Mineduc.
Pitts underscored that they want to collaborate with the Rwandan government in “every way possible” and pointed out that their students have been working in other areas in the country – especially passing on computer skills and technology.
He revealed that FSU was working with some universities in the country to help them through the transition of using English as the language of instruction.
The President had also earlier in the morning received the visiting Burkina Faso Speaker of Parliament Rock Mark Christian Kabore and his delegation of five MPs who had come to pay him a courtesy call.
Kabore and his delegation are in the country as part of the bilateral relationship between parliaments of the two countries.