The Ambassador of Rwanda to the United States of America and non-resident Ambassador to Mexico, Brazil and Argentina, James Kimonyo addressed the students at Morehead State University (MSU) in the US on February 26, 2013.
The presentation was themed “Rwanda on the Rise Through Education Among the Pillars of its Development”.
Based in the U.S. Amb. Kimonyo’s visit to the school was in conjunction with NASA DEVELOP.
The NASA DEVELOP National Program fosters an interdisciplinary research environment for interns to work on applied science research projects under the guidance of NASA and partner science advisors.
The program is unique in that interns lead research projects that focus on utilizing NASA Earth observations to address community concerns and public policy issues.
With the competitive nature and growing societal role of science and technology in today’s global workplace, DEVELOP is fostering an adept corps of tomorrow’s scientists and leaders.
The program bridges the gap between NASA Earth Science and society, building capacity in both its interns and partner organizations to better prepare them to handle the challenges that face our society and future generations.
“Ambassador Kimonyo and the NASA DEVELOP team’s visit to Morehead was an extraordinary opportunity for our students,” said Dr. Ben Malphrus, chair of the Department of Earth and Space Sciences.
“The importance of space to nations with emerging economies cannot be underestimated. Many of the African Union nations have begun developing and launching their own space assets, and microsatellites like the ones developed at Morehead State are a perfect point of entry into the space age for these countries”.
Prior to his current position, Kimonyo was Rwanda’s ambassador to the Republic of South Africa and non-Resident Ambassador to Zambia, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Angola, Namibia, Botswana, Kingdom of Swaziland and the Kingdom of Lesotho where he served for two years.
Since 1994, Kimonyo has been instrumental in the political and socio-economic reforms in Rwanda where he held several key positions within the government.
He was appointed to head the department of Rehabilitation and Reconstruction under several ministries including; Rehabilitation and Social Integration, Home Affairs, Communal Development and Resettlement as well as the ministry of Lands, Resettlement and Environmental Protection.
Amb. Kimonyo has also played a vital role in the repatriation, resettlement and reintegration programs of former Rwandan refugees.
Prior to his diplomatic career, Kimonyo served as the Governor of the Eastern and Southern provinces respectively (Kibungo and Butare).
In this role, he was directly involved in efforts to enhance good governance, justice, economic development and social progress.
He has an outstanding record for his dedication to strengthening and fostering the unity and reconciliation process in Rwanda.
In addition, the Ambassador has a wide range of experience with international organizations. He served as a national director and coordinator of several projects funded by different international organizations including UNHCR, UNDP and UN-HABITAT.
Kimonyo has a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering degree and holds a master’s degree in Engineering Project Management.