The Kigali Institute of Science and Technology (KIST)

The Kigali Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) is the first public technological institute of higher learning in Rwanda. It came into existence as a UNDP project on November 1st, 1997 with a clear mandate to produce technical, scientific, of high caliber. KIST opened with a major degree programme being offered in engineering. Compulsory courses included English or French language and remedial basic sciences.

The Institute was officially inaugurated in April 1998, and four years after its inception, it was legally enacted by Law No. 48/2001 of 26/12/2001.

The Kigali Institute of Science and Technology 1















KIST main Building (Muhabura block)

The rationale for establishing the institute

The establishment of KIST was part of Rwanda Government’s mission to build a strong post-genocide human resource base that was so desperately needed then, and is still needed now. Its establishment was made possible by the combined efforts of the Government of Rwanda as the main stakeholder, UNDP (Rwanda) as the executor of the project, and the German Agency for Technical Co-operation (GTZ) as the implementing agency.

The initial funding for starting the Institute came from a UNDP core funding and a UNDP Trust Fund obtained from the generous contributions by the Governments of Japan and the Netherlands. This financial boost enabled KIST to initiate operations smoothly, taking only two months for the first class of 209 students to begin their studies and those who were successful later graduated in July 27, 2002.

It is now eighteen years since the war and the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi ended. During this reconstruction period, the country has slowly but surely continued to rebuild all sectors of its national economy, including its human resource base, and is striving to join the international community in activities such as trade, technological developments, the transfer of technology, the promotion of scientific and technical know-how, and information and communication technologies. KIST’s establishment as an institute of science and technology has been part of this ongoing rebuilding effort.


KIST has two campuses: The Main Campus is located in Upper Kiyovu on Avenue de L’Armée, in the heart of Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda. It is within easy reach of Kigali’s shopping centres, government ministries, hotels, airline offices, the central and private hospitals and clinics, and is only twenty-minute drive from Kigali International Airport.

The Remera Campus is in the outskirts of the city and houses the Centre for Innovations and Technology Transfer (CITT).

The Vision of KIST

To be an internationally renowned regionally – engaged African University. With the aim of delivering programmes of academic learning to the highest international standards, engaged in world class fundamental, strategic and applied research and providing services to the community and business whilst remaining true to our commitment to be responsive to the needs of Rwanda.

The mission of KIST

KIST’s mission as laid down in its Statute is:

  1. To equip students with advanced skills with a view to increasing manpower and capacity for national development.
  2. To promote research, based on the disciplines offered at KIST.
  3. To disseminate the results of research through teaching, seminars, conferences, public lectures, publications and other appropriate means.
  4. To provide consultancy services to government, industry, the private sector and the community at large.
  5. To engage in income-generating activities with a view to creating awareness of lucrative investment.
  6. To collaborate with other academic, professional, technical and research institutions in and outside Rwanda for educational and technological development.
  7. To develop and promote close collaboration with the private sector and the community so as to enrich KIST’s programmes.
  8. To make provision for the advancement, transmission and preservation of knowledge and to sustain intellectual life in Rwanda.
  9. To contribute to the cultural, civic and moral training of its students and to participate actively in the economic and socio-cultural development of the country.

Faculties, Schools Centers and Academic Directorates

  1. Faculty of Engineering (FoE)
  2. Faculty of Science (FoS)
  3. Faculty of Architecture and Environmental design
  4. KIST Language Centre (KLC)
  5. Centre for Innovation and Technology Transfer (CITT)
  6. Directorate for Research, Publications and Consultancy (DRPC)
  7. Directorate of Academic Quality Assurance
  8. Directorate of Continuous Training
  9. The Information and Communication Technology Service Center (ICT)
  10. Regional ICT Training and Research Center
  11. Electronic Documentation Centre
  12. The Library

Faculty of Engineering

The Faculty offers programmes leading to award of Bachelor of Science and Masters Degrees in the relevant disciplines as listed below.

  • BSc in Civil Engineering and Environmental Technology (CEET – Full Time)
  • BSc in Computer Engineering & Information Technology (CEIT – Full Time)
  • BSc in Computer Engineering (CEIT – Full Time)
  • BSc in Electrical Engineering (EEE – Full Time)
  • BSc in Mechanical Engineering (ME – Full Time)
  • BSc in Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering (EEE – Full Time) and (EEE – Part-Time)
  • BSc in Computer Sciences (CEIT – Part-Time)
  • Master of Communications Management (MCM – CEIT)
  • Master of Operational Communications (MOC)
  • Master of Information System (MIS)
  • MSc. in Highway Engineering and Management
  • MSc. in Transportation Engineering and Economics

Faculty of Applied Sciences

The Faculty of Applied Sciences launched fully fledged degree programmes in January 2006 through the following academic departments, offering the following degree programmes:


  • Bachelor of Science in Applied Biology with options in Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Bachelor of Science in Applied Chemistry with options in Biochemistry and Environmental Chemistry
  • Bachelor of Science in Applied Physics with options in Material Physics and Renewable Energy
  • Bachelor of Science in Applied Mathematics
  • Bachelor of Science in Food Science and Technology

Faculty of Architecture and Environmental Design (FAED)

Towards the end of 2008, KIST established the Faculty of Architecture and Environmental Design (FAED), with the aim of training relevant experts and technocrats needed in the country and the region as a whole. These shall include Architects, Urban & Regional Planners, Urban Designers, Quantity Surveyors, Land Valuers and Estate Managers, Construction Managers. It is envisaged that, when fully established, the faculty will have the following departments:

  • Department of Architecture
  • Department of Construction Management
  • Department of Planning
  • Department of Creative Design

FAED offers the following degree programmes:

  • Bachelor Degree in Architecture
  • Bachelor Degree in Quantity Surveying
  • Bachelor Degree in Estate management & Valuation
  • Bachelor Degree in Creative Design.

At the moment, only the Department of Architecture is in place. In January 2009, the department admitted the first intake of 25 students for the Degree of Bachelor of Architecture. Other departments which will offer respective degree programmes are planned at a later stage.



Science Laboratories at KIST

Centre for Innovations and Technology Transfer (CITT)

CITT’s Vision is to be the center of excellence for research and development in appropriate technologies, focusing on rural communities and equality of opportunities in Rwanda. Its mission is dedicated to develop appropriate technological innovations and enhance capacity of the private sector to multiply the technologies and ensure their sustainable adaptation. Thus, the technologies and technical know-how developed by CITT are tailored to meet specific needs of the society, promote technology entrepreneurship, and in the process, result in the improvement of the quality.

So far, CITT interventions have been in the fields of energy and environmental protection, water supply, low cost housing and transportation. To assist communities in development and poverty alleviation CITT has constructed:

  • Biogas Installations
  • VIP Latrines
  • Energy saving cook stoves
  • Rainwater harvesting tanks in different provinces of the country

CITT is constituted of two departments:
Research and Development, Private Sector development and Technology Transfer and Training.

Department of Private Sector Development

KIST started the Department of Private Sector Development under CITT to contribute to the development of Entrepreneurship and private sector promotion. This came as an initiative to help graduates of institutions of higher learning in Rwanda, experiencing difficulties to set up their own enterprises. Research conducted at various Universities has proved that the main problems of starting enterprises are low level of entrepreneurial skills and lack of access to finance. Under the above department, KIST has started two initiatives;

  1. Technology and Business Incubation Facility (TBIF)
    TBIF’s Goal is to facilitate development of Rwanda through improvement of entrepreneurial skills and wealth creation.


  1. THE KIST Enterprise Development Fund (KEDF)

KEDF is also a KIST initiative in the Department of Private Sector Development under the Centre of Innovations and Technology Transfer (CITT). This project was established by KIST/CITT with assistance from the President of Rwanda and United Nation Development Program (UNDP). It was set up to address financial needs of entrepreneurs who are looking for start-up capital for their enterprises but often have no access to finance from commercial financial institutions due to insufficient securities.

KEDF’s mission is to contribute to the national economic development and employment creation through the provision of soft credit to university graduates and young entrepreneurs to enable them start their own enterprises

The Information and Communication Technology Service Center (ICT)


To become a Regional Centre of Excellence in delivering hands on vocational and professional courses in ICT and Technology related fields, carry out extensive research activities and knowledge dissemination by being a link between academia and Industry in order to provide absorption capacity to the Industry and to provide technical assistance to all sections of the community, both rural and urban.

The ICT Center of KIST provides the ICT infrastructure of the Institute. The Centre is driven to find solutions and ways to make ICT work for the Institute; support for electronically mediated education; undertake research and development in ICT Training and Education; and develop, test, prototype, and incubate IT infrastructure for the country, in areas such as research and development in application software, networking, database management and administration, Web, and multimedia applications.

Regional ICT Training and Research Center (RITC)

This center is hosted by KIST as one of the three components of the Rwanda Development Gateway Group (RDGG) under the Development Gateway Foundation (DGF). The Government of Rwanda (GoR) identified KIST through RITC as the implementing agency for RDGG, in the establishment of a regional ICT Training and research Center. As a regional ICT training and research center, we focus on excellence in research on appropriate technology for poverty alleviation, applying ICT for development in our region, producing ICT professionals, and update them on the rapid changing ICT innovations.

RITC offers International Advanced Diploma in Computer Studies (IADCS) through NCC education. The center also offers Microsoft Certified System Engineer (MCSE) and CISCO training programs.

The centre is a Pearson VUE and PROMETRIC recognized Testing Center and offers different international IT Certifications.

Facilities at KIST

  • A two floor library housed in KIST 2 Building with a total area of 768 m2 with about 11,000 volumes.
  • 1123 computers, of which 902 are being used by students and 221 for staff. All computers are fully connected to the Internet.
  • An English Reading Room furnished by the British Embassy in Kigali.
  • An American Corner, funded by the United States Embassy in Kigali, with 10 states of art computers for use as a digital library.
  • Sports grounds for basketball, volleyball, football, handball and martial arts
  • Staff and students Canteen with a 36 inch Television connected to the DSTV Channels
  • One Medical Clinics located at Kiyovu (the main campus). Students clubs: Environmental Club, Anti – AIDS Club, Unity and Reconciliation Club, Rotaract Club, Drama Club, Karate Club, Cultural Troupe, to mention but a few.


















KIST students at a recent graduation

Graduation statistics

The first graduation ceremony was held on 27th July, 2002 and officiated by His Excellency President Paul Kagame. A total of 463 students were awarded degrees and diploma certificates in engineering and management. Since then, graduation ceremony has become an annual event as shown in the following table.  

Date Diplomas Bachelors Degree Masters Degree Total
July 27, 2002 401 62 - 463
March 19, 2004 355 428 - 783
March 11, 2005 104 515 - 619
Dec 9, 2005 58 800 - 858
March 30, 2007 9 270 19 298
March 31, 2008 12 311 23 346
March 26th, 2009 01 144 30 175
March 25th, 2010 - 463 38 501
March 24th, 2011 74 640 36 750
Total 1014 3633 146 4793

Kigali Institute of Sciences and Technology

Avenue de l’ Armée
B.P. 3900 Kigali- Rwanda
Tel.:+2502574696/751927 Fax: +2502571925/571924
E-mail: , ,



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