Mahatma Gandhi University in Rwanda (MGU) launched its Center for Training and Research that provides free training programs, open forums, panel discussions, seminars, and workshops open to the public.
MGU Chancellor and Founder/Owner, Dr. Rajan Chopra said; “MGU is entirely self-financed for all its resources. It is driven by a vision, a desire to work for a cause, and derives pleasures in scaling new heights of success. The University endeavors to provide an environment for quality education at affordable rates to all sections of society for the students from diverse backgrounds, ethnicity, caste, creed and geographical areas. We are working towards accomplishing our mission through additional training, seminars, workshops, and special discussions provided “free of charge” to our students, as well as members of our community who want to become partners in growth and success of the University. We unveiled today the Center for Training and Research as a venue where we put into action Albert Einstein’s philosophy that true education is not the learning of facts but rather the training of minds to think, under the stewardship of our Vice-Chancellor/Provost Dr. Vince Sinining.”
Dr. Sinining remarked, “the Center is a place where ideas come to life; where open discussion on social issues and global affairs that affect Rwanda are encouraged; where underprivileged but talented young men and women are provided FREE skills-based training programs; where young professionals connect, collaborate, and create innovative ideas through research; and where experienced professionals, local and national officials, and distinguished ambassadors share their views and transfer their knowledge and expertise to the next generation of leaders in Rwanda.”
In its series of events, the Center launches an Open Forum on “Empowering Women through ICT.” MGU Rwanda Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Director Dr. Varun Gupta said, “We honor women in Rwanda who are working hard in advancing the vision of President Kagame for Rwanda and the active engagement of women in ICT and in Politics.
Speakers at the Open Forum include Mrs. Liliane Gashumba – an experienced diplomat and executive; Mrs. Beata Nyirabahizi – librarian at the National Library; Mrs. Eugenie Muteteri – Director of Value and Hope Organization in Rwanda; and Mr. Modest Ngabonziza, Program Manager at Indego Africa. Participants include undergraduate and graduate students of MGU Rwanda.
Mrs. Gashumba spoke on providing marginalized women in villages access to government programs and services that will help them earn their living to help support the family, mindful that the transformation of the children’s lives mostly depend on the mother’s love and care. As a diplomat and executive traveling to various places in East Africa, she has seen so many underprivileged women struggling to keep up their families. Although many refer to ICT as the use of gadgets, computers, and internet, the provision of simple radios so these women can listen to what is happening around — new markets for their local products, government programs, as well as local issues, can be very helpful.
Mrs. Muteteri emphasized that empowering women is not a choice but rather an obligation of the government in order to continue steering the nation in the right direction along with men. She said, “there are less corrupt women than men, thus the importance of providing women access to the ICT in developing their skills plays a lead role in engaging them to policy-making that protects the right of every girl, boy, women, and men.”
Mrs. Nyiratabahizi talked about the various initiatives that the government is working on to achieve its Vision 2020 in ICT, and the various roles women in Rwanda play in politics as well as in the executive level. She recognized President Kagame’s efforts of including women in his cabinet posts and encouraging women to be part of the national parliament.
The only male speaker to share his views on “Women Empowerment” was Mr. Ngabonziza who spoke about his organization’s programs in helping and in assisting women in various livelihood projects, noting that empowering women not only in providing them access to ICT but most importantly, access to skills training on livelihood programs is an important element in poverty reduction which is the main factor in sustainable development.
A series of free training programs will soon be posted at Mahatma Gandhi University Rwanda website at www.mgu.ac.rw where the public can register online. Seats are limited so programs are on a first-come, first-served basis.