The decade anniversary celebration took place virtually on Tuesday 9th November 2021, one day after the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the People’s Republic of China and the Republic of Rwanda.
Apart from the anniversary; both institutions; the Chinese Academy of Sciences (XIEG) and UNILAK have committed to extend the partnership for more five years (2022 to 2026).
The renewed partnership agreement followed the end of the initial 10 years marked by strong academic and research collaboration in the areas of natural resource and environment.
Commenting on the ten-year journey, Dr. Jean Ngamije, the Vice Chancellor of UNILAK revealed that the partnership entered in 2012 has been very successful where several projects were achieved.
“We have seen our dreams becoming a reality and we continue to work together for more great achievements,” said.
For the last ten years, UNILAK and XIEG partnered in capacity building which saw UNILAK students and lecturers going for further studies in China.
Since 2014, students from UNILAK studied in XIEG-CAS and have been awarded masters and PhD degrees.
Dr. Christopher Mupenzi; the Director of Research and Consultancy at UNILAK has said that their researches focused on natural resources and environment not only in Rwanda but also in East Africa.
“This cooperation has boosted research finding disseminations with UNILAK research publishing more than 30 papers in international journals,” revealed Dr. Mupenzi.
Research projects were also undertaken whereby an annual international conference was organized and held in Kigali since 2013.
Under this MoU; XIEG and UNILAK committed to look for funds to facilitate the running activities of the SAJOREC Rwanda Office and the Joint Research Center for Natural Resources and Environment in East Africa.
Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography and Wuhan Botanical Garden have promised to send professors and provide other related support for Master of Sciences in Environmental and Development Studies at UNILAK. They will also continue offer scholarships to two or three persons from UNILAK each year for Master’s and PHD program.
“We have a lot to celebrate at the end of a decade of our partnership especially the establishment of the Joint Research Center for Natural Resources and Environment in East Africa based at UNILAK since 2016 and the launch of the Atlas,” said Prof Chen Xi, President of Chinese Academy of Sciences.