The King’s College London, Digital Humanities Department and Aegis Trust have brought together academic, private and public sector stakeholders from Rwanda and abroad to explore the implications, impact and transformative effects of digital archives and digitization processes in understanding the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and post-Genocide reconstruction as well as supporting the country’s development.
The conference, titled ’Digital Archives, Memory and Reconstruction in Rwanda’, is being funded by the UK’s Arts and Humanities Research Council and is taking place from 21-23 March 2017 at the Marriott Hotel in Kigali.
Rwanda’s Minister of Youth and ICT, Jean Philbert Nsengimana, opened the event by highlighting how equipped Rwanda is to lead the way in using digital archiving as a tool for both remembrance and development.
"I am very pleased that this conference focuses on developing digital content technologies and skills to utilise the digital economy, for both remembrance and reconstruction. In doing so, I believe we will build a better-informed and more cohesive society that can benefit from all the opportunities the digital economy presents," Minister Nsengimana said.
In the past three days, experts have been addressing a range of issues and sharing experiences and best practice under four broad themes: Memory and Memorialisation, Education and Peace Building, Social Justice and Inclusivity, Capacity Building and the Digital Economy.
The conference is identifying how the theoretical, practical and pedagogical aspects of these themes can contribute to the social, cultural and economic development of Rwanda. It will make specific recommendations and propose an action plan to take forward new initiatives and partnerships that can build on and leverage existing work.
On the first day of the conference, Mutanguha Freddy, Aegis Trust Regional Director, stressed the importance of sharing experiences.
"This is a great opportunity to understand the relevance and the place of digital archives in Rwanda’s social & economic reconstruction since the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi," he said.