The Baton passes today (15.01.2014) into Rwanda – and into history as the first baton to visit that country. Rwanda joined the Commonwealth of Nations in November 2009.
Exactly two years before that, in November 2007, the University of Glasgow conferred an honorary Doctor of Laws degree on the President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, in recognition of the role he has played in the development of his country after the devastating genocide. President Kagame was also invited to speak by the the University’s Centre for International Development, which he did, delivering a public lecture entitled “Education for Development: The African and Rwandan Challenge”, which can be viewed in full via the University’s website.
Professor Peter Holmes, Chair of the University’s Centre for International Development, highlighted the growing connections between Rwanda and Scotland, particularly in higher education. Those connections would have also benefited from the Rwandan Government’s decision the next year (2008) to change the medium of education from French to English.
The connections continue today: Currently Professor Philip Cotton is on secondment from his post as deputy head of the Undergraduate Medical School and academic director of Vocational Studies and serving as Principal of the College of Medicine and Health Sciences at the University of Rwanda.