Sweden has given $ 40.7 million (approximately Rwf28 billion) to boost research and use of scientific knowledge in Rwanda.
Under the Cooperation in Research, Higher Education and Institutional Advancement program the grant will support use of scientific knowledge of international quality that contributes to Rwanda’s development.
The initiative will also enable poor people to improve their quality of life through research carried out at the University.
The agreement to finance the program was signed between Sweden and the government of Rwanda in Kigali on July 20, 2014.
The head of the International Development Co-operation Agency at the Swedish Embassy in Rwanda Joakim Molander said research will play a key role in contributing to Rwanda’s Millennium Development Goals ( MDGs).
He said the move is aimed at helping Rwanda establish a strong foundation for both social and economic development. And this can only be achieved through enhanced research and skills.
Specifically the support will establish conducive environment for research and postgraduate training at the University of Rwanda.
It will also improve quantity and quality of research and other competences in policy making as well as increase the number of PhD and Masters holders in Rwanda.
The Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Claver Gatete said the program supports Rwanda’s ambitions to develop into an innovative knowledge society and aims to increase the production and use of scientifically based knowledge contributing to Rwanda’s development.
Sweden through its International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) supported research capacity building in research in Rwanda since 2002 through the National University of Rwanda (NUR) until the formation of the University of Rwanda (UR) in 2013.
So far a total of 23 PhD students have graduated from Swedish universities since the partnership began.
Currently there are 25 PhD students undergoing PhD studies and an additional 49 PhD students will be enrolled during this 3rd phase of the program.
The program offers PhD studies in agriculture, Medicine &health, mathematics and statistics, Peace and conflict studies, Business & economics, Geographic Information Systems, E-governance, ICT, Environment, Library and Information science, and research management.
The program also offers the flexible conditions for women who want to undertake PhD.