Rwanda has become the first African country to offer a Masters Degree in Genocide Studies, a US based Genocide scholar Dr. Samuel Totten of the University of Arkansas has revealed.
Totten, who developed the curriculum, is one of the only three globally recognized scholars who develop Genocide Studies curriculums.
“Rwandan students have already enrolled and studies have started at the Centre for Conflict Management at the National University of Rwanda,” Totten said.
The Genocide scholar who is also a member of the Israel based Council of the Institute on the Holocaust and Genocide said that part of his plan for Rwanda is to ensure that classes are also offered online.
“Since Rwanda has become the first African country to offer Genocide studies, we have decided to use all opportunities available to ensure that people can have the studies from their respective countries, this is why we are developing the online version for the school,” Totten said.
So far more than 30 students have enrolled, including Rwanda’s high profile historians and staff of the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG).
According to Totten, over 60 students had applied for the Masters in Genocide Studies.
“After a thorough screening, we considered almost half of those who had applied,” he said.
Totten said that he first picked interest in Rwanda after a Rwandan friend in the US introduced him to Major General Karenzi Karake and Professor Anastase Shyaka, who was then the Director of the NUR’s Centre for Conflict Management.
“They described how the country had been forced to begin a fresh in the aftermath of the genocide.” Totten said.
“That is how I was personally motivated to cooperate with them.”
Totten is a well respected internationally scholar. He has extensively published material that has contributed to understanding the causes, effect and prevention of Genocide.