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RDF in partnership with the US Military to establish a Defence University

Kigali 19th September 2018

Delegates from the United States National Defence University (NDU) were today received on behalf of Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) by Maj Gen Innocent Kabandana at the RDF headquarters as part of the ongoing discussions and partnership to establish a Defense University in Rwanda within the next few years.

On Wednesday, 19 September, a delegation from United States National Defence University (NDU) held talks with RDF officials to establish a joint partnership to have the University up and running.

The delegation that is on a 3-Day visit to the country was led by Benjamin Crocket NDU associate dean. Lt Col Jason Farmer, Defence Attaché at the US Embassy in Kigali said that the talks yielded tangible results.

“This is the first time that we’ve had a chance to meet here in Rwanda. We’re in the very initial stages of discussing how to put together a National Defence University here in Rwanda; what that would look like in the Rwandan context as it will be the first time that Rwanda builds a strategic level educational institution,”said Lt Col Farmer.

He pointed out that it’s absolutely feasible adding that the National Defence University in the United States is eager to partner with Rwanda Defence Force to see what this institution could look like.

“Rwanda already has a number of academies and institutions including The Command Staff College in Musanze, the NCO academy in Gabiro and the Rwanda Military Academy in Gako. There already is a culture of professional military education here and this is simply adding the next level at the Colonel and above in their educational and professional military career,” he added.

In order to produce and sustain the required multi-level human resource base, RDF needs to move to another level of its training ladder by establishing a strategic level National Defence University that will impart to senior military and civilian officers the required knowledge and skills to ensure a concerted and successful inter-agency cooperation towards achieving national and multinational assignments.

At the same time, the college will produce graduates who are skilled, critical thinkers and complex problem solvers in the particular Rwandan development path. This falls in the views the Commander-in-Chief of RDF, His Excellency Paul KAGAME, who said in 2013 that “Our thinking is based on people. In national budgets, we focus on education, health, we look at technology, skills, innovation, creativity. We are always thinking about people, people, people.” (This is Africa, Exclusive Interview: Paul Kagame, 18 November 2013).