The Joint Research Center for Natural Resources and Environment in East Africa based at UNILAK Kigali Campus since 2016 has been recognized as the Sino-Africa Joint Research Center (SAJOREC) Rwanda Office from October 15th, 2019 to December 31st, 2022.
First of its kind in Africa, SAJOREC serves as the platform and bridge of scientific cooperation between the Chinese and the African scientists in a wide range of fields.
It is a hub of Sino-Africa collaboration on biodiversity-related research, it also focuses on areas such as wildlife protection, prevention and treatment of desertification, climate change monitoring, and modern agriculture demonstration since its establishment in 2013 in Kenya.
Being recognized as a part of SAJOREC is a great milestone for the university and for the country such as Rwanda which has anchored science, research and innovation at the heart of social economic development.
“Before, our Research Center operated at a local level but since today, it is upgraded to a regional level and we expect a lot from this change such as skills transfer, training sessions for university lecturers and laboratory technicians as well as enhancing the region’s research in sustainable natural resources conservation; declared Dr. Ngamije Jean, the Vice Chancellor of UNILAK.
It is my hope that this collaboration therefore constitutes a core strand in delivering the nation’s priorities, added Dr. Ngamije
The recognition of the Joint Research Center for Natural Resources and Environment in East Africa based at UNILAK Kigali as a part of SAJOREC was preceded by the signing of a memorandum of understanding between UNILAK and XIEG-CAS to extend their collaboration in the next five years starting from 2016 and the provision of laboratory equipment.
“We are so grateful to the Chinese Academy of Sciences for the assistance that has further seen an increase in research facilities, scholarships provision, exchange of scholars and laboratory equipment,” said Dr.Ngamije. Jean.
The Chinese Academy of Sciences also appreciates the effort of UNILAK in developing its researches since the partnership which started in 2012.
“We have been working with UNILAK, it’s now 7 years. We celebrate our partnership and still committed to achieve more. We are going to put more emphasis on strengthening the activities of the research center;” said Professor Wenjiang Liu, the Executive Director of Research Center for Ecology and Environment of Central Asia.
“SAJOREC is one of our major projects for strengthening scientific cooperation with developing countries under the Belt and Road Initiative. It is very unique as the only one built in Africa and it has received strong support from Chinese President Mr. XI Jinping” added Professor Wenjiang Liu.
SAJOREC has served as an international platform for academic cooperation open to the whole region of Africa focusing on areas of much importance to the sustainable development of Africa, such as food and water security, eco-environmental protection, wildlife conservation, public health.