UAE Ambassador to Rwanda, Alqahtani urges UoK Students to take advantage of available opportunities

By Théophile Niyitegeka
On 19 November 2021 at 10:35

The Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to Rwanda has urged students at the University of Kigali (UoK) to take advantage of their country’s development programs to meet their aspirations.

He delivered the message on Thursday 18th November 2021 during interactive session in which he took UoK students through youth empowerment programs in the UAE.

Amb. Alqahtani explained that UAE has put much effort in promoting youth inclusiveness as a segment of the population considered the backbone for national development.

He pointed out an example of Shamma Al Mazrui who joined the cabinet at the age of 22. Among others, the youth account for 75% of the taskforce in UAE’s Ministry of Education and are assigned more decision making positions.

The Ambassador highlighted that his country has also established a fund to support youth-led projects and created platforms bringing together the youth to exchange ideas on areas of interests paving the way for their progress.

After taking them through his country’s efforts in youth empowerment, Amb. Alqahtani said that the Government of Rwanda also has ambitious targets to the same cause and called on UoK students to maximize available opportunities.

“I should not leave without mentioning that the Government of Rwanda also has such opportunities. It is up to the youth to grab them. I would like to encourage students and the university’s management to tap into such opportunities and maximize benefits collaboratively because working together will undoubtedly yield big,” he said.

The Vice Chancellor of the University of Kigali, Prof. Gustave M. Tombola thanked the UAE Ambassador for sacrificing his time to interact with students.

“We are privileged to have hosted the Ambassador. His visit is of great significance as he comes for the second time. He has reminded us on available opportunities for the youth that need to be fully utilized,” he said.

Prof. Tombola revealed that the university is ready to work with the embassy to advance youth empowerment.

Amb. Alqahtani last visited the university in November 2020.

The Dean of Students at UoK, Julius Twahirwa said the discussions were very insightful noting that they are ready to tap into the huge opportunities.

“It is a great honour to receive the Ambassador from a developed country. We have leant a lot from his tips. We have pledged to follow his advice to achieve our aspirations and contribute to national development,” he noted.

UAE has been partnering with Rwanda to advance quality education over the years.

Since 2002, the UAE through the Al Maktoum Foundation has supported Rwanda’s education by funding two secondary schools, the Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Girls Secondary School for Sciences in Muhanga and the Hamdan Bin Rashid Kimisange Secondary School. Students from these schools have been performing well in national examinations.

For the last at least 10 years, the UAE through the Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan Foundation has also been 100% supporting the Islamic Secondary School for Sciences whose students have also been performing well in national examinations.

Within the framework of joint action in order to support the education sector in Rwanda, the UAE Government provided scholarships to outstanding students in different UAE universities, through the UAE Technical Assistance Program.

Since 2018, 20 male and female students from Rwanda received UAE Government scholarships at the UAE University in the disciplines of Architecture, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Biology, Biochemistry, and Computer Science.

Among others, 10 Rwandan students were given full scholarships to pursue bachelor’s degree programs at Sorbonne Abu Dhabi University in 2019.

The UAE has established an excellent and diversified system of higher education in a very short period.

Founded in 1976, the UAE University led higher education in the country. Since then, the UAE currently has 76 public and private institutions of higher education and they include universities, colleges and vocational & technical institutes, both local and international campuses, such as the Sorbonne Abu Dhabi University, New York University and American University of Sharjah.

Amb. Alqahtani has explained that UAE has put much effort in promoting youth inclusiveness.
UoK students pledged to follow UAE ambassador's advice to achieve their aspirations.
UoK students have been reminded that they are the backbone of national development.