Kigali, 21 April 2010

President Kagame has told technical students that Rwanda needs a work force with techincal skills in order to develop. Inaugurating Kicukiro Technical Training Centre President Kagame called on Rwandans to look beyond barriers that existed between types and levels of education: “Some of the best and brightest students in most progressive countries and in emerging economies pursue polytechnic education. It is little wonder that their industries are vibrant and thriving today. Those are some of the skills that this institution will be imparting, and they will not only transform individual lives but will also be the engine of economic growth”.

President Kagame pointed out that a few decades ago, Korea was not too far ahead of where Rwanda is today but the country has prospered by taking smart decisions from which Rwanda can learn; “I take this opportunity to thank the Government of the Republic of Korea for the cooperation that exists between our two countries, and in particular, for your key role in providing the state of the art facilities that we have just seen at this campus”.

Emphasizing the role played by vocational and technical education in the advancement of developing nations, President Kagame said that skills training was as important as mainstream formal education “and that in the last few years the Government of Rwanda has given priority to and mobilized resources for this type of education”.

President Kagame called for more women to enroll in technical programs in order to enjoy the financial benefits and actively contribute to economic growth. Referring to the principle of sacrifice that guided Korea’s own development, he urged students to be committed and work hard in order to succeed. : “Those who brought the equipment you now have used to sleep in laboratories in order to acquire the knowledge and skills they have and be where they are today”.

The Vice President of the Korea International Cooperation Agency Hyun-Sik Chang said that strong and visionary leadership made the Republic of Korea reach where it is today, and observed that Rwanda is capable of achieving what Korea has achieved: “Human resource development is critical in the early stages of development and Rwanda clearly understands this fact”.

The KOICA project was initiated in July 2010 following President Kagame’s visit to Korea in 2008 and is aimed at contributing to the capacity building of the Kicukiro Technical Training Centre (KTTC) in five fields of construction, electrical and Industrial installation, Automobile and Information Technology.