He revealed this yesterday as he took over from Dr. Musafiri Papias Malimba during a ceremony held at UR headquarters in Gikondo witnessed by the Ministry of Education, Dr. Dr Uwamariya Valentine.
Prof was appointed by the cabinet meeting held on 2nd February 2021, four months after the predecessor Phillip Cotton ended his tenure and temporarily replaced by Dr Musafiri Papias Malimba who once served as the Minister of Education.
During the handover ceremony, Dr. Musafiri presented several achievements of the university since established in 2013 and reminded his successor of duties ahead to manage the university faced with several challenges including hardships brought by Covid-19 pandemic and poor funds management as indicated by the Auditor General’s report.
The new Vice Chancellor, Prof Lyabanje thanked the Government of Rwanda for bestowing trust upon him.
“We are pleased that His Excellency President Paul Kagame and the Government of Rwanda trusted Rwandans to manage the university and particularly granting me, the chance to do so,” he said.
Prof Lyambabaje committed to promote quality education in close collaboration with colleagues.
“When you speak to people around, they have a negative perception that today’s graduates are not competent enough compared to the past. I am not sure if it is an exaggerated reality but we have to accept that time changes. The more technology evolves, the harder we must utilize it with all efforts so that graduates are able to leverage that technology to efficiently accomplish their duties at work,” he said.
“Continuously striving for quality education, is one of areas we should prioritize in a way that embeds research to facilitate lecturers and students to sharpen knowledge,” added Lyambabaje.
Among others, the new Vice Chancellor expressed commitment to draw emphasis on efficient funds management.
“Another area of focus is related to funds management. It is necessary to work with the Auditor General, our staff and other relevant institutions to do what is required. As I told you, when you think I am misusing funds contributed through taxes to educate students, it is your rights to file a complaint through the Auditor General inquiring into why I am not fulfilling promises,” he said.
Prof Lyambabaje also highlighted that they will streamline internal audits to ensure proper management of financial and human resources.
In a bid to advance quality education, he revealed plans to develop partnerships with private universities to training their lecturers, and work with local and regional research centers, uplift sports and cultural activities at the university as well.
The Minister of education, Dr. Uwamariya Valentine said that the Government expected Prof Lyambabaje to promote quality education at the University of Rwanda and contribute to research geared towards transforming national economy.
“The University of Rwanda has a clear vision and goals which he comes to cement. Most importantly, we want quality education to get boost at the university and carry out its mandate of transformational research positively impacting national economy,” she noted.
Prof Lyambabaje was born in 1960. He studied at the National University of Rwanda from where he went to pursue Master’s Degree in Canada.
Lyambabaje holds a Bachelors of Science Degree in Mathematics and a Doctorate in Mathematics from University de Rennes in France.
He has served in different capacities in Rwanda’s public sector. Among these, in 1999, he was appointed Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education.
In 2000 he was appointed Minister of Commerce, Tourism Industry, Investments Promotion and Cooperatives, a position he held until 2003.
He supervised the formulation of policies for the ministry and in particular Rwanda Tourism Policy.
He also contributed to the regional integration process through active participation in regional ministerial meetings, including those of the East African Community and the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).
From April 2014 to 2015, he served as a senior researcher at the University of Rwanda in the College of Medicine and Health Sciences.
He also served as an Associate Professor of Statistics in the Institute of Applied Sciences Ruhengeri.
Prof Lyambabaje has been recently serving as the Executive Secretary of the Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA).