Rwandan businessman seeks to reunite relatives through DNA tracing app

Deexon Muhizi, the founder of Igitree.

Many Rwandans lost touch, communication and connection with their relatives after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

For about 26 years, some people are still conjecturing whether their relatives are still alive or dead.

 

It is through this, that Deexon Muhizi was impelled to seek means of reuniting such families through a phone app.

 

He built a platform known as igitree where people can find each other and reconnect, through a DNA test and a family tree.

 

“Igitree is a phone application genealogy platform, under the company known as “Footprints” that is currently working on boosting the African roots and culture. The name ‘igitree’, originates from the Rwandan word “igiti” that means a tree,” Muhizi stresses. 

He formed the “igitree” platform, after a year-long research where he noticed that during family functions, people met new family members, some went an extra mile to exchange phone contacts, but after such gatherings, some people never bothered meeting or contacting each other, which he thought wasn’t right.

Muhizi’s aim at the moment is, for everyone to have a platform where they could meet and be introduced to each other, even before the family gatherings.

He is anticipating that families grow closer as they get to learn about their ancestors and DNA trace, that way, generations after generations will start making sense, if trace the old days. With no doubts, they will be able to also see the intermarriages that have been in their bloodline. But also learn of the great deeds of their ancestors.

Muhizi also told  The New Times that the family tree keeps growing as you add family members or relatives.

He also points out that the service is for everyone, with a smartphone, whether Android or iOS and the app is free to download and free to build a family tree and reconnect with your relatives.

“To the African brothers and sisters in the diaspora, that might have originated from slave ancestors, it is a platform that will give them a home, by tracing their DNA origins, and possible connections to family DNA matches, through the platform,” Muhizi enlightens.

The business man also adds that when looking for the DNA match, origin and possible bloodline traces, a person is required to pay a one time fee of $99, which is equivalent to Rwf94,432.

The results are expected to be available in about five weeks.

By just downloading the mobile application, anyone is able to add a relative, and that relative can also add another or two, or more, hence expanding the family tree.

He notes that the application is the first of its kind in Rwanda and Africa.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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