Enrhed Project Newsletter – October 2023
As you have undoubtedly already noticed, the summer of 2023 was far from quiet for the EnRHEd team. Thanks to continuous exchanges, training sessions and other different events took place in Rwanda with the aim of promoting and disseminating the activities performed within the EnRHEd project.
In this Newsletter we will briefly tell you about the training for students and staff that was carried out by the scientific coordinator of the University of Liège, Prof Roland Billen, at EnRHEd’s Partner Institutions in Rwanda, besides planning a new future collaboration project.
We will describe the Summer School organized by the University of Parma in collaboration with IPRC-Musanze and the Rwanda Water Resources Board, on the use of computational software in the field of hydraulic and geotechnical engineering.
Finally, we will try in a few lines to convey to you all the excitement experienced by about 150 people during the final International Workshop of the EnRHEd Project held in Kigali on August 30, 2023, in the presence of numerous institutional and diplomatic representatives.
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FROM LIEGE TO RWANDA TO TRAIN STUDENTS AND TO PLAN A NEW PROJECT
“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.”
Between the 15th and 30th of July a Professor from the University of Liège, Roland Billen, travelled to Rwanda to work in different directions. The first activity was a training for students and staff at EnRHEd’s Partner Institutions, focusing on some topics in the field of Geomatics, such as Q-Gis and Digital Twin. The occasion was propitious to intensify contacts with students from different institutions and to held meetings, lectures and conferences.
Courses were given to IPRC students in Construction Technology (lectures on “Introduction to Q-GIS”), and two conferences on “Misleading with maps” mainly attended by Geography students and staffs. It is worth highlighting the large number of participants and the diversity of profiles who took part in these various events at the partner institutions. The reception and recognition of students are certainly the highlight of this mission, which we can certainly say succeeded as it perfectly achieved the goal for which it was intended.
Moreover, there was the opportunity to lay the foundations for a new future project.In fact, a major project named “Impact analysis of urban spatial planning and development for sustainable secondary cities in Rwanda” was submitted to be evaluated by ARES. Therefore, Prof. Roland’s mission proved to be an opportunity to collaborate with local partners and prepare the defence of this new joint project. This can be considered a real exploitation of EnRHEd, also in light of the new relationship established with the Belgian embassy. Other avenues for collaboration have been identified with the EnRHEd partners and there is a genuine desire to continue working together.
SUMMER SCHOOL: SOFTWARE IN THE SERVICE OF LAND PROTECTION
“Science is knowing; engineering is doing.”
After the fruitful edition held in 2022, the EnRHEd team in cooperation with RP-IPRC Musanze and Rwanda Water Resources Board organized the second edition of the Summer School concerning the topic of hydro-geological hazard in Rwanda, more precisely on the “Use of software in the service of land protection against landslides and flooding”.
The Summer School – 2023 edition last 1 week (5 working days): part 1 (first 2 days) was dedicated to the topic of landslides with a training on basic slope stability analysis with HYRCAN, part 2 (following 3 days) was dedicated to the topic of river flood modeling with a specific training on basic one-dimensional hydraulic modeling with HEC-RAS. During five days, teaching staff and professionals in the field of hydrogeology and civil engineering were trained by Prof. Roberto Valentino, Prof. Marco D’Oria and Dott. Valeria Todaro from the University of Parma, as well as from technicians operating in private industries such as MACCAFERRI, about methods for dealing with land protection problems such as landslides and floods. The Summer School, which has been hosted at Rwanda Polytechnic – College of Musanze, has been structured with both theoretical lessons and practical exercises by Italian professors, also using appropriate free numerical codes (HYRCAN for landslides; HEC-RAS for river flood modelling). Read more here to see the program.
End-users of the Summer School have been 25 participants as teaching staff, civil engineers, technicians, who are responsible of higher education courses related to territory management and land protection. They had the opportunity to gaine an in-depth knowledge on the approaches, data and possible solutions to protect the territory against natural hazards thanks to this Summer School. The participants obtaining a final attendance certificate that will demonstrate the acquisition of new knowledge and skills in the field of land protection against landslides and flooding. Necessity of developing this Summer School was resumed by Dr Hussein Bizimana, Hydraulic Flood Modelling Specialist at Rwanda Water Resources Board: his comment can be read by clicking on this link.
MORE THAN 150 PEOPLE AT THE ENRHED INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP
“Cooperation is based on the profound belief that no one can get to the goal unless everyone gets there.”
As the final event of the EnRHEd project, which is moving into its final phase, the University of Rwanda organised the International Workshop entitled “Outcomes and future perspectives of Erasmus+ Capacity Building Projects in higher education in Rwanda” held on 30th of August 2023 at Serena Hotel in Kigali. The workshop aimed to share the experiences of exchange actions between Rwandan and European universities in the framework of the two Erasmus Plus Projects EnRHEd (Enhancement of Rwandan Higher Education in strategic fields for sustainable growth) and GREATER (Growing Rwanda Energy Awareness Through highER education). The last one, coordinated by the University of Parma, can be considered the immediate exploitation of EnRHEd. During the workshop, the main aspects of Capacity Building projects contributing to the development of Higher Education in Rwanda within strategic sectors for sustainable development – such as food science and technology, protection and defence of the territory, access to clean and renewable energy – were considered.
The workshop was attended by representatives of European Higher Education Institutions that are partners of the projects: Università di Parma (Italy), Université de Liège (Belgium) and three German universities of applied sciences, Rheinische Fachhochschule, Hochschule Niederrhein and Hochschule Bonn-Rhein-Sieg. Rectors, Vice-Chancellors, Deputy Vice-Chancellors, and many lecturers from the Rwandan Higher Education Institutions involved in the projects participated as well, namely from University of Rwanda, Ines-Ruhengeri Institute of Applied Sciences, Rwanda Polytechnic and University of Technology and Arts of Byumba. Some members of the international diplomacy delegates in Rwanda took part in the event: the European Ambassador to Rwanda, Belen Calvo Uyarra, the scientific attaché of the Italian Embassy, Fabio Santoni, the Italian honorary consul, Giovanni Davite, as well as the representatives of the German, Belgium and France Embassies. Emmanuel Rukundo as Director General of the government agency Rwanda Water Resources Board participated as well.
The workshop was a special opportunity to share among the different actors the experience of the EnRHEd project, which is nearing its conclusion (i.e. 14 January 2024), and the future prospects of the GREATER project, which started a few months ago. It was also an opportunity to strengthen cooperation between many European and Rwandan partners, with particular attention to enhancement activities in the fields of staff training, teaching and research.
THE ENRHED TEAM