Women in Leadership Pressing for progress to inspire and contribute to the sustainable development of Rwanda

Rwanda is among the most vulnerable countries to climate change due to its topography and the rain patterns that become more intense during rainy seasons and dry seasons that take longer than usual, hence tough drought in some parts of the country. The fact that women are primarily responsible for household’s water availability and food security causes women to bear most negative effects of Climate change.

The Government of Rwanda through the National Strategy for Transformation supports the implementation of diverse integrated strategies to enable women and men to cope and adapt to the effects of climate change. The Rwanda Green growth and climate resilience strategy and the Strategic plan for climate resilience help to shape gender inclusive programs and projects that may provide resources or various forms of support needed to cope with the impacts of climate change. Within the Ministry of Environment, GGGI works closely on a number of initiatives for technical support, and several women in leadership are making strides and are pressing for progress as they commit to gender parity.

  • Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Environment, Rwanda Fatina Mukarubibi encouraged all to “commit to raising awareness on impacts of climate change to women & men & programs that support adaptation & mitigation”
  • Director General at the Rwanda Environment Management Authority Coletha U. Ruhamya reiterated that “traditionally women are majority users of natural resources; in any environmental & climate change catastrophes they endure hardship with their children, women must assume their part in ensuring Sustainable management of our natural resources”
  • Director General for Environment & Climate Change at the Ministry Juliet Kabera said “we cannot attain sustainable development without gender equality, Rwanda has developed coherent gender equality policies & we are committed to uncover professional potential of both women & men in environment & climate change.”

GGGI in Rwanda with its partners, used the momentum of global celebrations of International Women’s Day to highlights the role of women in sustainable urban development, and reminds stakeholders committed to green growth.  In Rwanda the Infrastructure Gender Mainstreaming Strategy 2017 – 2022  was developed jointly with the Ministry of Infrastructure to guide all infrastructure sector and sub-sectors project and programmes to mainstream gender into their policies, processes and implementation.

At the University of Rwanda’s School of Architecture and the Built Environment (SABE) had the privilege to host guest speakers from the ministry of infrastructure for this celebration. Ms. Patricie Uwase, the technical advisor to the minister & program manager SPIU and Ms. Lisette Rwiyereka, the ministry’s housing development senior engineer. The two female engineers held an interactive session with female students in SABE, to share experiences that give hope to the students that Engineering, Architecture and other technical fields belong to women too.

Advisor to Minister of Infrastructure Ms. Patricie Uwase explains to women studying architecture at the University of Rwanda how the Ministry of Infrastructure & GGGI developed gender mainstreaming strategy to guide infrastructure related policies, projects & programs.

GGGI is an organization respecting gender balance with Young women professionals, being hired by GGGI working as Technical Assistants to support the Districts of Nyagatare and Muhanga in implementing the National Roadmap for Green Secondary Cities supporting the development of the Six Secondary Cities as poles for green growth of Rwanda.

Where young people meet experts to discuss SDG global challenges & solutions for Sustainable Development

White Dove Scholars:
Armella, Christelle & Grace were selected to join the SDG Conference on the Sustainable Development Goals in Malaysia, scheduled to commence  mid-April 2018.

A conference that brings experts and young people from all over the world to discuss the global challenges and way forward.

“The school continues to search out opportunities for our students both local and international opportunities and encourage them to apply. This opportunity was opened to our S.6 students (12th graders) and from those who applied, we had three lucky students! The application process had two main phases, the first being writing essays on any one of the 17 SDG goals of their interest, next step was a social media campaign for those using social media especially via Instagram and Facebook and that is how they got selected.” Faithful Abaho, Student Affairs – White Dove Girls School in Rwanda

“The students’ have extracurricular activities such as the SDG Clubs that will be set up in term 2 once they return from their trip in Malaysia, and their plan is to take a gap year once they graduate in December, to set up similar SDG clubs in other schools. Meaning we shall be using our school club as the pilot club. “ Such activity will further be supported by the GGGGI in Rwanda further sharing knowledge to youth.

The students are also actively involved in many other activities outside of school such as leadership camps such as the Bold Leaders Camp that was organized by the US Embassy last holiday, done Queen’s Gambit Program (a program that uses Chess to empower girls as well as impact their communities).  The three girls have also participated in Spelling Bee competitions and placed 3rd in the district (Christelle). At school, all three are involved in the School Book Club, Debate club as well as Dance. They were also involved in the very first Pi-Day Mathematics competitions organized by the University of Rwanda in partnership with AIMS as well as the Junior XL Challenge Entrepreneurship workshop organized by Compound 55 to start off Global Money Week.

Hire Armella , Isaro Cynthia Christelle, Rwibutso Marie Grace each gave their views on how they think young people should get involved in knowledge sharing on SDGs and mentioned that:

“Young people could work closely with leaders in their communities since those leaders work so hard to see their communities developed as well as the country, through creating clubs such as within their schools so they can start right where they are to be the change they want to see, using the resources and networks they have.” “Young people could write books or stories or blogs on what everyone should do to contribute to achieving the SDGs here in Rwanda. They could harness the potential of social media to have an awareness campaign and spread the word on how to achieve the SDGs in their daily lifestyles.”

“The young generation in Rwanda has started to showing concerns in contributing to the development of the country by starting small projects in their communities which help them also be part of the achievement, peers should encourage each other to join these initiatives.”

“Through volunteering in NGOs as well as other firms whose aim and vision is to attain the SDGs, young people can be part of the development in Rwanda since they will be getting opportunities to network with experts and educate them on developmental issues. The youth should not only look for paying internships but should then be smart enough to offer their time as volunteers or even ask to job shadow the experts.”


On March 8, GGGI team staff had the opportunity to host the White Dove Scholars and engage with them about GGGI role in Rwanda , the GGGI staff also made contribution to their airfare and registration. Mr  Okechukwu Daniel Ogbonnaya of GGGI ,  Lead – Rwanda Program Co-ordination gave a comprehensive presentation to the e 16 group of girls and their teacher on GGGI’s work on implementing the Sustainable Development Goals and other development agendas, supporting the girls to prepare for their participation at the SDG Conference in Malaysia this month.