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‘East Africans tasked to commemorate, remember genocide against Tutsi’

Dr Wandia Njoya

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Kenyan scholar Dr. Wandia Njoya has stressed the importance of knowledge to ensure the story and lessons from the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi of Rwanda are not lost.

Speaking at a Public Lecture held at Makerere University Wednesday on the 30th commemoration of the Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda, Njoya called for the creation of Centres of East African studies, to ensure the young generation prioritise the learning of their country’s history.

She said, the genocide denial and rivisionism on the international scene, thrives on a lack of knowledge of the history and circumstances of Africans and Rwanda in particular.

“Knowledge is a very important part of remembering what happened in Rwanda in 1994 and in the battle against genocide denial. We East Africans, should commit to learning each others histories and having conversation among ourselves,” she told an audiance that included Dr Umar Kakumba, who represented the Vice Chancellor of hosts Makerere University, and Joseph Rutabana, High Commissioner, Republic of Rwanda.

Njoya explained how imperialism has ensured that Africans learning of each other’s history is difficult. “One of the factors that made the genocide possible, was the ignorance the world had of Rwanda,” she stressed.


She encouraged youth to resist the onset of liberalism, that drives them to only pursue knowledge to get jobs. She said they should seek knowledge for its own sake, as it is what will help them understand and resolve new challenges in their environment.

Later, a lively panel discussion moderated by Zara Nampewo from the Makerere School of law, delved into the challenges Rwanda has to overcome and hailed the progress in reconciliation and nation building, made in the last 30 years.

The panel had Kwezi Tabaro; Deputy Director LéO Africa Institute, Jude Kagoro; Research Fellow at the Institute for Intercultural and International Studies (InIIS) Bremen University and Ambassador Ngoga Pascal; (Former Ambassador of Rwanda to Adiss Ababa Former Senior Political Officer UN)


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