The New Times (Kigali)

23 August 2014

Rwanda: Govt Pledges Support to Agriculture Graduates

Government is committed to supporting agriculture graduates to foster agricultural development in the country, Tony Nsanganira, the Minister of State for Agriculture has said.

Nsanganira was speaking at the University of Rwanda (UR)'s College of Agriculture, Animal Sciences and Veterinary Medicine (CAVM) inaugural graduation ceremony in Kigali yesterday.

He said the support aims at enhancing agriculture as a major contributor to the national development agenda.

"We have already been working with graduates from UR in many ways. Once again, I want to pledge our full support to the activities that you will be undertaking after here," Nsanganira said.

The minister said efforts are underway to strengthen already existing partnership in different areas to make sure the College passes out graduates capable of making a difference in the lives of Rwandans.

He urged the graduates to support the country's development agenda by helping make agriculture the backbone of the economy.

"I want to remind you that this country has a vision, and you should find your place in that vision. It is important to understand that the agriculture sector is not only a backbone of this country's economy, but also a major source of income to the majority of Rwandans," Nsanganira said.

Yesterday marked the end of a five-day long inaugural graduation ceremonies of the University of Rwanda since the merger of seven public higher learning institutions in September last year.

The move to merge the institutions aimed at enhancing research, which would support the national development agenda.

More than 1,600 students graduated from CAVM, bringing the total number of graduates to 10,078.

Alphonsine Nambazimana, who graduated with a Masters Degree in Agro-forestry and Soil Management, could not hide her joy being the only graduate in that discipline.

"I am so happy, this is another step forward. We (females) have been encouraged to challenge ourselves. I have brought pride to myself, my family and the nation," Nambazimana said.

She urged fellow graduates to translate technical knowledge into practice.

Nambazimana, who works with the Ministry of Agriculture in the department of inspection and certification of agriculture products for export and imports, urged youth to use the minimum resources available to create their own jobs.

CAVM, formerly known as the Higher Institute of Agriculture and Animal Husbandry (ISAE), was created in September 2013, with a purpose of training highly qualified technicians in the field of agriculture and animal husbandry.

The College has several campuses namely; Busogo (headquarter of the college), Huye, Nyagatare, Nyarugenge and Rubirizi.

Dr Laetitia Nyinawamwiza, the College Principal, said the merger is yielding results.

Dr Mike O'Neal, the UR Chancellor, told graduates that they may not be as iconic as some of the world's greatest, "but can all contribute towards a better Rwanda."

"Through acts of kindness and service, you will overcome evil and change the future. Do not allow anything to discourage you, and turn you away from the destination of goodness, greatness and service, that we hope, is now instilled in you," O'Neal said.

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