On 29 November 2017 a delegate of Rwanda Cooperatives Agency (RCA), Mr Charles GWIZINKINDI offered a public lecture on “YOUTH IN COOPERATIVES AND POVERTY REDUCTION” to GIP staff and students.The conference was opened at 3:50 pm in the PTS Conference Hall by the Vice Principal for Academics and Training, Mr Theodore HABIMANA.
In his opening remarks, Mr Theodore HABIMANA warmly welcomed the Guest on behalf of the Principal and GIP population in general and briefly introduced the lecture. He said, “This lecture in conjunction with those that were offered before practically urges us to do something.” He asked the audience to listen carefully noting any questions that would be answered at the end of the lecture.
The Speaker Mr Charles started the lecture asking the audience to participate actively in the lecture by giving comments, asking questions or answering his. He said, “The present lecture aims at presenting the the opportunities that are already in place, which are calling the youth to group themelves in working coopreatives (co-ops) in order to reduce poverty.”
Mr Charles GWIZINKINDI addressed the participants
After presenting the purpose and contents of the lecture, the Speaker went on to inform the audience on the background of cooperatives in Rwanda. He said cooperatives have existed in Rwanda since since the colonial period to saveguard the interests of White people. He gave examples of such co-ops like NKORA, IMPALA, ABAHIZI in promotion of export products, and TRAFIPRO, CODAR which were created and managed by the religious power to assist the vulnerable. Prior to that time, the terms like ubudehe, umuganda, umubyizi prove that teamworking was a usual practice among Rwandans even before the pre-colonial era. In 2006 there was a national renewing policy on the promotion of cooperatives and in 2007 a new cooperative law of 18/09/2007 was put in place determining establishment, organisation and function of cooperative organisations in Rwanda. In 2008, Rwanda set up the RCA.
The main Speaker defined ‘cooperative’ as “ an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs and aspirations through a jointly-owned and democratically controlled enterprise according to internationally recognised cooperative values and principles.” He added that when 2 or more cooperatives group themselves together they form unions, and unions form federations, and federations the Apex of cooperatives or NCCR.
Theodore HABIMANA, Vice Principal of Academics and Training (L) Charles GWIZINKINDI (C), delegate of Rwanda Cooperatives Agency and Laurence UWITONZE (R) Vice Principal of Administration and Finance waiting for students and staff to ask questions for clarification
He also categorized cooperatives according to their sector of performance, where we saw agriculture, livestock, trading, service, transport, handcraft, transformation, mining and fishing cooperatives among others. He mentioned that many cooperatives are located in the agriculture sector and that the service sector, more than any else, can interest the young generation especially those in higher learning institutions for their diverse skills and competencies.
The speaker also informed the public about the requirements for applying and getting the legal personality for a co-op. He stressed the role of the government in promoting and strengthening cooperatives in Rwanda by evoking RCA, the Government’s initiative for registration, promotion, regulation, and supervision of cooperatives. “The role of the RCA goes far to include mobilization and sensitization campaigns of Rwandans to join co-ops, drafting law and codes of conduct for co-ops, conducting internal audit especially to co-ops showing mismanagement cases, supervision and inspection in co-ops’ performance, etc.”
Students during the lecture
In his ending remarks, the Speaker highlighting the youth sector main challenges and the Governmental strategies to meet those challenges. Among the challenges he mentioned limited employable skills and unemployment, negative mindset and attitude among the youth, limited business capacity and access to finance, youth delinquency and lack of capital etc. For the Governmental strategies he listed MDGs (Millenium Development Goals), Vision 2020, 7YGP (Seven-year Government Programme) and NEP to name just a few. He also mentioned public institutions and centers available to support youth in cooperatives such as MINIYOUTH, NYC, IWAWA Rehabilitation and Vocational Skills Development Centre (IRVSDC), MINAGRI, MINICOM, RCA, BDF, YEGO, TVET and so on.
One of the students asking questions during the lecture
He also presented the youth sector key achievements, such as udukiriro planted around the country and Kimisagara One Stop Youth Employment and Productivity Center. He stressed the contribution of cooperatives to poverty reduction in that they help augment employment, pay taxes, increase production, etc. He ended by thanking the audience and gave them the floor to ask questions.
All the questions asked were about creation, organisation and management of cooperatives. While answering, the Speaker reiterated that according to the rule in place, a cooperative must comprise up to 10 members from different families, all of whom have the same power (or same vote) in the co-op. He added that the members should have the same goals, same vision, and same understanding of challenges in order to make their cooperative successful. “when a co-op has got a legal personality, it turns into a private company.
In his closing remarks at 5.25pm, the VPAT once again thanked the Guest and Speaker of the day and invited him for another time. He also participated in answering questions where he set up the difference between a co-op and a trading society. “In cooperatives”, he said, “all members have each 1 share and the same vote, while a trading company can be owned by even 1 person and the number of shares per member depends on the capacity of each member, and their votes are not equal.”
This afternoon 22 November 2017 GIP hosted a delegate of the National Youth Center (NYC), Mr Donat NISHYIREMBERE, who offered a public lecture on the topic “National Youth Empowerment Programs & Youth Employment”
Donat NISHYIREMBERE, National Youth Council Delegate, addressing the congregation
The conference was publicly opened around 3.30 pm in the PTS Conference Hall by the Principal of GIP, who in his opening remarks stressed the interests and relevance of the topic and called everyone’s attention to the lecture. The Principal warmly welcomed the Guest and asked the audience to offer him a welcoming applause.
The Principal, SP David KABUYE, welcoming the guest
After conveying the regards of Mr MWESIGWA Robert, the Executive Secretary of the NYC who was not available due to other duties assigned to him, the Public Speaker Donat NISHYIREMBERE started the conference by briefly introducing himself to the audience. He the continued with the presentation of the aims of the lecture: Recognising the available opportunities, Putting skills into action, Interaction or the sharing of information about the topic at the end of the lecture.
Students participated in this public lecture
The Public Speaker went on to introduce the National Youth Council (NYC). “It is a platform that provides opportunities for the youth to share ideas for self and national development,” he said, “the NYC aims at Coordinating, advocating, designing and implementing youth friendly programs and Creating the conditions to facilitate and encourage Rwandan youth to actively participate in socioeconomic development and transformation to a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable society.”
The Speaker also introduced the Ministry of Youth as one of the partners of the NYC which has the mission of raising a HAPPi Generation, the term HAPPi standing for Healthy, Attitude& Aptitude, Patriotic, Productive, and Innovative.
The Speaker stated that Rwanda has put youth employment at the heart of the National Growth and Transformation. He quoted H.E Paul KAGAME: “The youth are Rwanda’s future, its agaciro [self-worth] in all ways, in terms of strength and leadership, and they are the value and foundation of what every country wants to achieve.” H.E Paul KAGAME – 30June 2013 at Youth Connekt Dialogue
Mr Donat, sharing the NYC policy, stated “The National Youth Policy was renewed in 2015 and gave strategic direction on youth priorities. It defined Rwandan youth as everyone in the range of 16 to 30 years. According to the last national population census, the youth segment makes 28.1% of the total population estimated at 12 million. Youth unemployment has reached 27.7% of all graduates from High Learning Institutions (Labor Force Survey, 2017)
It is against this background that Mr Donat the Speaker of the day, called GIP students who were part of the audience to start small businesses while still at school. “Every generation has its challenges and opportunities,” he said, “but you must think about the legacy you will leave to the next generation. You must think about what your contribution to national building is.”
In his closing remarks, the speaker gave the audience 3 keys to undertaking income generating projects or running business, which are START (take the risk of starting your business at any cost), STOP (you will have to stop something like bad habits, bad friends…) on daily basis in order to concentrate on your business, and CONTINUE (do your business with all your heart, mind and force, then you will be different.)
One of the students asking questions during the public lecture
After the impressive conference on youth empowering programs, the audience were allowed to ask questions. Students asked constructive questions about taxes and how to refund credits, probable gaps between TVET and other sectors of economy, and how to work with the Pulic Sector, all of which the Guest Speaker answered satisfactorily, giving examples of young people who created winning projects and businesses across the country. “You have the same opportunities, same talents, same skills and same challenges. So you can be innovative as well!” said Mr Donat, encouraging and challenging the audience to start small business.
The Principal, SP KABKUYE, NYC Delegate NISHYIREMBERE and MUREBWAYIRE, Director of Students waiting questions from the audience
In his concluding remarks, the Principal thanked so much the guest Speaker for the brilliance of the lecture, most importantly the contribution it gives to the entire population of GIP regarding available opportunities as far as employment and self-employment are concerned. The Principal closed the conference at 4:10 pm reiterating some of youth empowering programs such as BDF, YouthConnekt and the 3 steps of running any business: START, STOP and CONTINUE. “I believe the message will be beneficial to you all and will pave the way to each and everyone’s future,” he ended.
Mr. GAKWAYA Samuel, a year three student in Mechanical Engineering department at Gishari Integrated Polytechnic emerged the fourth on the continent in the African Association of Public Management(AAPAM) competition for innovative management held in El Jadida, a town in the kingdom of Morocco from 6th -10th november 2017. Mr. Gakwaya has reached the final stage after winning the competition at the national level with his project entitled ’’Extraction of banana fibers”.
Gakwaya Samuel, a student from GIP who emerged the fourth in AAPAM competition in El Jadida, Morocco.
Via this project he has managed to produce sanitary pads used by ladies from the banana fibers. Gakwaya has been invited and financed by
AAPAM to compete in the above mentioned kingdom .This continental competition stage of selecting the winner was made up of an interview in which the jury has interviewed all the contestants at the venue of the 38th AAPAM roundtable conference held in El Jadida, each one getting 10 minutes power point or video presentation of the innovation followed by 10 to 15 minutes of questions by the jury. This jury was due to start on Sunday 5 November 2017 beginning at 10:00 am.
In the second stage, finalists made 10 minutes power point or video presentation of the innovation to the entire conference in a plenary session in the afternoon of Wednesday 8 November 2017. In this competition five first winners were awarded; the first received a gold medal, the silver and the bronze medals for the second and the third respectively. The fourth (Gakwaya) and the fifth received trophies.
This competition was attended by a hundred projects from the initial stages but only five projects reached the final stage in El Jadida with two projects coming from Rwanda including the “Extraction of banana fibers” by Samuel GAKWAYA from Gishari Integrated Polytechnic.
More photos of Gakwaya in El Jadida, Morocco.
On 15th November 2017, in the polyvalent hall of Gishari Police Training School, the Mayor of Rwamagana District Mr. Radjab MBONYUMUVUNYI delivered a public lecture to Gishari Integrated Polytechnic (GIP) staff and students on “The role of TVET higher learning institutions in the development of the local population.”
After a warm welcome by the Acting Principal of GIP SP David KABUYE, Mr. MBONYUMUVUNYI started his lecture by defining the term higher learning which is also known as post secondary education or third level education as an optional final stage of formal learning that occurs after completion of secondary education often delivered at universities, academies, colleges, seminaries, conservatories, institutes of technology etc.
The Mayor of Rwamagana delivering the lecture.
The Mayor of Rwamagana reminded that access to higher learning is a right as stipulated in a number of international humanrights as per UN international Covenant on economic, social and cultural rights of 1966, article 13. The colonial masters of Rwanda (Belgians) were not concerned with higher education as it was viewed in their eyes as a potential threat to their colonial interests though in some other countries Universities like the one of Alexandria or MAKERERE were built during the colonial rule.
Highlighting the role of Education, Mayor MBONYUMUVUNYI talked about a strong positive correlation between the development of a country and the quality of Education it offers, mentioning that when one wants to reap quickly, he or she plants beans, when he or she wants to reap in medium term he or she plants trees but when he wants to reap sustainably he or she educates people.
Students followed actively the lecture.
The Mayor also highlighted the role and impact of higher learning institutions in the development of the local population whereby it provides considerable value to individual’s lives and work and the society in general. He reiterated that universities prepare individuals for jobs that they want and help support the economy we need, which serves as catalyst for change as it has power to shape the kind of the world that we want to live in. The Mayor has also demonstrated very clearly that real graduates are the ones who live with more than degrees advising them to focus not only on degrees but also more importantly on skills. The mission of an institution of higher learning is the access to quality education that impacts the community as education impacts the lives of the people in terms of the economic growth and stability, happier and healthier lives, societal benefits, unit and trust.
The Mayor of Rwamagana underlined that the expected impact of higher learning institutions in the development of the local population is the problem solving shedding more light on the steps of the problem solving process as follow:
The Mayor has also explained that problem solving encounters some barriers as the confirmation bias, mental set, functional fixedness, unnecessary constraints as well as the way to overcome them.
The Mayor appreciated GIP efforts for the community, society in problem solving and pledged greater partnership between GIP and Rwamagana district. In his conclusion he has also left an assignment to students who attended his lecture. The lecture started at 3o’clock and ended at 5o’clock pm as usual.
From left to right, the Ag Principal of GIP, SP David KABUYE ,The Mayor of Rwamagana district Mr. Radjab MBONYUMUVUNYI and the Vice Principal in charge of Academics and Trainings at GIP Eng. Theodore HABIMANA
Gishari Integrated Polytechnic (GIP) has dedicated every Wednesday from 3:00 to 5:00pm to public lectures for its staff and students whereby experts, academicians, successful entrepreneurs etc, are invited to deliver the lectures. It is in that perspective that on wednesday 8th November 2017, Mr. KANGWAGYE Justus Head of Political Parties & CSOs Department at Rwanda Governance Board (RGB), delivered a lecture entitled ”Democracy and Community involvement in National decisions”
After welcoming remarks by the Acting Principal of GIP SP David KABUYE, Mr. KANGWAGYE whom has also served the maximum of two 5 year terms as the Mayor of Rulindo District started by defining the term democracy.
Mr.KANGWAGYE Justus delivering the lecture.
Mr. KANGWAGYE quoted the famous United States President Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) who defined democracy as the government of the people by the people and for the people. Democracy has been explained by the speaker as a form of government in which people’s participation is of primary importance. Basic elements of democracy have also been clarified among them:
The Ag Vice Principal Academics and Trainings Eng. Theodore HABIMA (left) and the Ag Principal SP David KABUYE Following the lecture.
Mr. Kangwagye highlighted the Rwandan consensual democratic model which puts forward inclusiveness, imperative constitutional power sharing to mention but a few.
The Rwanda’s strategic choices were also underlined whereby his Excellency Paul Kagame, architect of Rwanda’s transformational agenda talked about the three fundamental choices of Rwandans which are namely: Unity, accountability and thinking big.
The lecture also touched the social democratic developmental state in social welfare whereby one million people got uplifted from poverty in the last five years, Girinka, Ubudehe, the reduction of extreme poverty and the universal access to education.
Staff members and students were eager to learn from the lecture.
Concerning the good governance and democracy, people centered government and development in which the rule of law, transparency and responsiveness are core values. Kangwagye explained good governance and justice as foundational pillars for equitable and sustainable national development, dignity (Agaciro), foreign policy and international relations whereby the number of embassies doubled as well as a remarkable increase of international events hosted in Rwanda.
To explain the above mentioned pillars, Mr. Kangwagye has used a balance of rights and obligations explaining clearly how both parts have to be taken into account especially the part of obligations which is sometimes given less value by some people. Explaining how Rwanda has opted to think big and works as a dignified country, the speaker used the example of Rwanda the global best reformer in doing business report 2017 as published by “The ease of doing business report” by the World Bank being far above the average of Africa.
Mr. KANGWAGYE Justus using a power point presentation during the lecture
Education to invest in human capital for a knowledge based economy, healthy citizens as a key for a prosperous nation have also been talked about.
The lecture winded up highlighting community involvement in national decisions. Rwanda has been described as a country that values the citizen participation in decision making and good service delivery as prerequisites for good governance. The satisfaction of citizen participation in decision making and good service delivery as prerequisites for good governance. The satisfaction of citizen participation has been exemplified by RGB citizen report card 2016.The satisfaction of the Rwandans towards the service of the army and the Rwanda National Police has been 99% and 97% respectively as per above mentioned report. The staff and students got an opportunity to ask questions which have been answered all.
Head of Civil Engineering department
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"People who are pursuing their education at different levels need to be taught technical skills and get internships to become competitive on job market. Young people should have a positive attitude towards TVET.”
H.E. Paul KAGAME