KIST is among institutions that are set to begin offering mining courses
Local institutions of higher learning which include the Kigali Institutte of Science and Technology (KIST), Tumba College of Technology (TCT) and the Kicukiro College of Technology (KCT) are set to begin offering mining courses.
The development comes under the Australian mining assistance to Rwanda which will focus on capacity building of technicians to boost mining industry.
The Australian government was represented by the special envoy of the Prime Minister Bob McMullan who signed a Memorandum of Understanding with government of Rwanda to that effect.
The Australian support will include working with the institutions to develop appropriate curriculum in mining and drilling. These institutions will offer a 2-year diploma course.
Australian government has also granted 32 scholarships for students pursuing Geo-Mining at masters level.
“I’m pleased to announce that 32 Rwandans are confirmed for scholarship opportunities in Australia during 2012/13,” said Bob McMullan, the special envoy of the Australian Prime Minister.
According to the Deputy Director General at Rwanda Natural Resources Authority (RNRA) Michael Biryabarema, the industry has been suffering from shortage of skilled personnel.
The courses are therefore expected to develop middle mining technician who can supervise mining activities and be able to plan for the progression of the mining for further improvement.
“It’s great to see Australia coming to partner with the Rwandan Government. They will broaden their support from high level professionals to low level technicians,” said Biryabarema.
“There is a lot that we lose because we use people who are not full professionals,” said Biryabarema adding that the support is something that will make them exposed to mining industry and expertise.
Biryabarema syas there is a need of about 80 scientists in the next 6 or 7 years while there is a need of about 400 middle mining technicians, not to mention many more low level miners.
Statistics from RNRA show that Rwanda has about 500 mines producing between 8,000 and 9,000 tons of minerals per year while revenues vary depending on international market stability.
Rwanda expects to get over US$ 100 million this year while they generated US$ 158 million last year.