IRL 4151-A class takes part in Field Trip to Rwanda

By Shyat Lemoshira

The IRL 4151-A Summer 2023 class field trip to Rwanda, also known as Le Paye des Mille Collines (The Land of Thousand Hills), was led by Dr. Elijah Munyi, a Professor in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences and Mr. Christopher Barak, a Course Adviser in the same School. This delegation arrived in Rwanda on Saturday, July 8, 2023, and stayed for one week. They paid visits to the Rwanda Cooperation, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in Rwanda (MINAFFET), the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning, the Ministry of National Unity and Civic Engagement, the Rwanda Parliament, the Rwanda Development Board (RDB) and Imbuto Foundation, Access to Finance Rwanda, and the Kenya High Commission in Rwanda.

The objective of the field study was to get a thorough understanding and experience relating to the concentrations of the Bachelor of Arts in International Relations: Diplomacy and Foreign Policy, Development Studies, and Peace and Conflict. Rwanda Cooperation under MINAFFET provided insights into Rwanda's transformation process and development, as well as diaspora participation in development. They also explained the policies, programs, and efforts in place for diaspora engagement in Rwanda's development and foreign policy. Enviroserve Rwanda also provided the children a tour of their facility in the Bugesera district. Through e-waste recycling and management, the company aims to contribute to Green Growth and the Circular Economy. Students gained knowledge about their e-waste process of management and were encouraged to spread the word about e-waste disposal and environmental preservation.

The Green Fund Rwanda (FUNERWA) and the delegation addressed methods for creating an ecosystem that provides growth capital to high impact environmentally friendly enterprises while also acting as a catalyst for attracting funding and green investment. The Ministry of National Unity and Civic Engagement spoke about Rwanda's efforts to promote unity and reconciliation, as well as the policies and measures put in place to improve community resilience, civic education, memory, preservation, and genocide prevention.

The USIU-Africa delegation also made a visit to High Commissioner Amb. Philip Githiora and the Kenya High Commission in Rwanda. Amb. Githiora described his diplomatic history and explained the responsibilities of Mission employees as well as the Mission's roles in projecting, promoting, and safeguarding Kenya's interests overseas through innovative diplomacy. Aside from these official excursions, the students took tours of Kigali, Uganda's Kabaka's Palace, and other prominent Rwandan attractions.

Ultimately, the field study was a huge success in terms of providing students with practical experience and interaction in political, economic, and social spheres in both the academic and non-academic domains.

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