Closing skills gap: University of Rwanda, Luna Smelter ink partnership

A staff at Luna smelter shows Prof. Alexandre Lyambaje and delegates around the plant

University of Rwanda (UR) and LuNa Smelter signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), to establish cooperation for delivering a Professional Education and Employment Program.

LuNa Smelter, a leading, high-quality African tin supplier was established in 2018 to contribute to Rwanda’s vision of becoming a hub for mining and processing in the region.

The MoU signed on Tuesday 21 September, between Prof. Alexandre Lyambabaje UR Vice Chancellor and Mr. Joseph Butera, Deputy Managing Director at Luna will offer first hand training through internships and opportunities to work on joint research projects with Luna’s senior geologists and technicians.

The MoU will benefit UR students of three categories: those in their last years of Bachelor program, those in third year during the industrial attachment period, as well as those in the first and second year, focusing but not limited to the School of Mining and Geology and the School of Science.

The Students will also participate in organized seminars, exchange programs and study visits at the smelter.

According to the Vice Chancellor of UR, Prof. Alexandre Lyambabaje this agreement is to address the problem of insufficiency of practical learning: “It is good to have this agreement with such company. One of the concerns that people raised about UR graduates is insufficient practical skills. In the past, it would take time companies to train them. So, this MoU is going to help in job training.”  He said.

Mr. Joseph Butera, Deputy Managing Director of Luna Smelter said that this Memorandum of Understanding is in line with the smelters commitment to contribute to Rwanda’s vision to become regional mineral hub: “This is just the beginning with University of Rwanda; the next step is to discuss the implementation process including selection of students and their placement so we can help the country to build knowledge needed in the mining sector and to contribute to value addition program of Rwandan minerals.” Butera said.

Mr. Narcisse Dushimimana, the Head of Mineral Regulation and Inspection Department at Rwanda Mines, Petroleum and Gas Board who witnessed the signing of the MoU commended the initiative calling "a good step towards professionalisation of the mining sector".

Mr. Narcisse Dushimimana the Head of Mineral Regulation and Inspection Department at RMB(first from left) witnessed the signing(Photo/Igihe)

Skills development and employment promotion are central to Rwanda ́s transformative vision, aiming to become an upper-middle income country by 2035, and ultimately a high-income country by 2050.