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University of Rwanda Joins WTO’s Chairs Programme

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University of Rwanda headquarters in Kigali

The University of Rwanda(UR) has joined as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) chairs programme that will help it to enhance knowledge and understanding of the trading system among academics and policy makers in developing countries through curriculum development, research and outreach activities by universities and research institutions.

UR was selected as member during a meeting of the Committee of WTO on Trade and Development this month. It has been urged to enhance knowledge and understanding of the international trading system among academics and policy makers in beneficiary countries.

“Having looked closely into the existing structure of the Programme, I believe there is greater benefit to be if we are to admit a smaller number of candidates more frequently, rather than a larger number in intervals of four years like in the past. This will allow us to make the programme even more representational, enhance its visibility and generate more momentum in the Chairs network and with members,” WTO’s   Programme, Director-General Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala said.

The WTO’s Chairs Programme was launched in 2010 as a capacity-building programme to improve knowledge and understanding of the multilateral trading system through the Chairs’ teaching, research and outreach activities in developing and least-developed country members.

“The Chairs Programme offers a platform for training new generations of trade experts, generating new ideas, insights and innovative responses to challenges facing our members. When members have evidence-based research, facts, figures and advice at their disposal, this promotes economically and legally sound policy choices in beneficiary countries,” Amb. Muhammad Mujtaba Piracha, Chair of the Committee on Trade and Development said.

UR joined alongside other international universities including Université de Yaoundé from Cameroon, University of International Business and Economics Beijing from China, Cairo University from Egypt, Addis Ababa University from Ethiopia, among others.

According to WTO, the 17 new participants were selected from a total of 126 applications from academic institutions from 54 WTO members following a rigorous selection process led by the Chairs Programme Academic Advisory Board.

WTO says special attention was paid to selecting institutions from regions that were previously under-represented by the Programme and from least-developed countries. The 17 new members will join the Chairs Programme network, which will now consist of 36 universities.

The expanded Chairs Programme network will strengthen the opportunities for peer-to-peer learning, collaboration between universities, and outreach activities with policy makers, according to WTO.

“This is indeed awesome. Congratulations @Uni_Rwandafor being among the 17 Universities selected to join #WTOchairprogramme network. Let’s keep striving for excellence,” Dr. Valentine Uwamariya, Minister of Education wrote on twitter.

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