20 May 2019
University of Rwanda’s College of Science and Technology - former Kigali Institute of Science, Technology and Management (KIST, Kinyarwanda: Ishuri Rikuru ry’Ubumenyi n’Ikoranabuhanga rya Kigali, French: Institut des Sciences et des Technologies de Kigali) is the first public technological institute of higher learning in Rwanda. It came into existence as a UNDP project on November 1st, 1997 with a clear mandate to produce technical, scientific, of high caliber.
UR-CST opened with a major degree programme being offered in engineering. Compulsory courses included English or French language and remedial basic sciences. The College was officially inaugurated in April 1998, and four years after its inception, it was legally enacted by Law No. 48/2001 of 26/12/2001.
The rationale for establishing UR-CST; The establishment of UR-CST was part of Rwanda Government’s mission to build a strong post-genocide human resource base that was so desperately needed then, and is still needed now. Its establishment was made possible by the combined efforts of the Government of Rwanda as the main stakeholder, UNDP (Rwanda) as the executor of the project, and the German Agency for Technical Co-operation (GTZ) as the implementing agency.
The initial funding for starting the Institute came from a UNDP core funding and a UNDP Trust Fund obtained from the generous contributions by the Governments of Japan and the Netherlands. This financial boost enabled UR-CST to initiate operations smoothly, taking only two months for the first class of 209 students to begin their studies and those who were successful later graduated in July 27, 2002.
It is now over 20 years since the war and the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi ended. During this reconstruction period, the country has slowly but surely continued to rebuild all sectors of its national economy, including its human resource base, and is striving to join the international community in activities such as trade, technological developments, the transfer of technology, the promotion of scientific and technical know-how, and information and communication technologies. UR-CST’s establishment has been part of this ongoing rebuilding effort.