On December 16th, 2021, H.E. RAO Hongwei, Chinese Ambassador to Rwanda, together with Hon. Uzziel NDAGIJIMANA, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning of Rwanda signed a Concessional Loan Framework Agreement of Rwanda Smart Education Project in Kigali on behalf of the two governments respectively. Officials from the Ministry of Education of Rwanda and the Ministry of ICT and Innovation of Rwanda attended the event.
At the signing ceremony, Ambassador Rao Hongwei said that the development of education is of great merit to the present generation and of great benefit for future centuries. Over the past 50 years since the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Rwanda, China has always regarded education as one of the priority areas of China-Rwanda cooperation, and two countries’ cooperation on education has yielded many fruitful results. China has supported the construction of schools, donated teaching equipment, trained professionals in various sectors, and provided hundreds of scholarships for students to study in China. At present, a new round of global technological revolution is emerging, and "Education + Information and Communications Technology (ICT)" has become an irreversible trend. The implementation of the Smart Education Project in Rwanda will contribute to the betterment of digital infrastructure in Rwanda’s education sector and provide a solid foundation for teaching and learning based on data and information. It will create a strong impetus to the development of education in a quality and balanced way, to the cultivation of talents, and ultimately to Rwanda’s socio-economic developments. Ambassador Rao also stressed the important outcomes of the Eighth Ministerial Conference of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation (FOCAC) and emphasized China's willingness to take the success of the Forum as an opportunity to further deepen China-Rwanda education cooperation and cultural exchanges, to strengthen the foundation of public opinion in the relations between the two countries and to tighten the emotional bonds between the Chinese and the Rwandan people.
Minister NDAGIJIMANA expressed his gratitude to the Chinese government for once again providing assistance to Rwanda in the field of education. He stressed that the Rwandan government has been committed to promoting digital transformation and upgrading in the field of education, and the implementation of Smart Education Project is of great significance for achieving the relevant objectives of the Rwanda National Strategy for Transformation (NST1) and is also a good start for the future deepening cooperation between the two countries in the field of education and digital economy. The Rwandan side is willing to work together with the Chinese side to promote bilateral practical cooperation to deliver more fruitful results.
The Smart Education Project will build a dedicated education network connecting 63 higher education institutions and 1,437 primary and secondary schools as well as expand the education data center for Rwanda, and will also build campus networks for 1437 primary and secondary schools. The project will improve the overall level of information and communication infrastructure in education in Rwanda and provide a solid foundation for digital and information-based teaching.