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Inaugural Graduating Class

Saturday, November 24th, 2012

The Great Lakes Media Center celebrates its inaugural graduating class

Even before the Kigali-based media training center was established the group interested in starting it was concerned about its longevity. “How can we ensure the Great Lakes Media Center is sustainable?” was the question asked at every meeting convened from 2003 to 2008.

Working to solidify the financial requirements of maintaining and expanding GLMC was a motivating factor for the May 13th forum in Kigali, funded by support from the Open Society Institute.

[slidepress gallery=’inaugural-class’]

Among the donor-community ambassadors, journalism academics, former Rwandan cabinet ministers, aid organization staff members and GLMC students, the rector of the National University of Rwanda, Silas Lwakabamba, announced he had just received good news: GLMC was the recipient of an EU grant totaling 500,000 Euros that would be used to buy much needed broadcast editing and computer/newsroom facilities for the center.

The center is slated to join the soon-to-be upgraded NUR journalism department which is relocating from Butare to Kigali to better address the needs of prospective and working journalists.


The Great Lakes Media Institute’s board members had multiple goals in leading this forum.

  • We wanted to better inform the very active donor community about GLMC’s goals and achievements to stimulate greater involvement;
  • We wanted to present to an unfamiliar audience The Ujima Project, the journalist database tool, for which the Kigali-based center’s inaugural class had been the catalyst;
  • We wanted to publicly state our future plans for greater regional outreach to stimulate ideas and potential alliances;
  • We wanted to publicly acknowledge the contributions made by the “pioneers” of the center and its inaugural class who in June 2010 received their diplomas and will remain as contributors to The Ujima Project;
  • We wanted to introduce and encourage a relationship between the center’s new staff members and those working in media development areas throughout the Great Lakes region of Africa.


“GLMC made us what we are supposed to be,” said City Radio program director Alexei Rutareka, a member of the inaugural class. He credits the diverse curriculum and internationally recognized teaching staff as the motivation for him and his colleagues to stick with the grueling hours of after work classes three to four times a week and weekends for more than two years for the reward of a NUR-accredited diploma.

“We are pioneers,” Rutareka said as he promised the inaugural class’ continuing support and involvement with the center to ensure it delivers a quality educational learning experience each matriculating class. It wasn’t lost on any of the attendees that the relationships and mutual respect in evidence among the graduating class members was as valuable for journalism in Rwanda as the skills and knowledge they accrued.