Yunus Emre Institute continues to increase the cultural exchange between Turkey and other countries within the framework of its collaborations in Turkish language teaching, cultural and art activities and many other fields. Continuing its activities without slowing down, the Institute founded new Yunus Emre Institutes in many locations in Africa, and its newest cultural stop was the East African country Rwanda. Within the scope of the protocol signed between Yunus Emre Institute and the University of Rwanda in 2019, activities including Turkish language teaching, cultural and art activities, scientific and academic collaborations started to be adopted.
In order to discuss the collaboration between the University of Rwanda, which is highlighted with its work in the field of sciences, and the universities in Turkey and Turkish institutions that carry out studies in the field of technology, the University of Rwanda, Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy Dean, Prof. Jean Claude Byiringiro and accompanying were hosted in Turkey by Yunus Emre Institute between September 12-17, 2021.
The University of Rwanda delegation carried out its first visit to the Rwandan Embassy on September 13, Monday. The delegation was hosted by the First Secretary Joel Uwizeye on behalf of the ambassador. During the visit, the importance of the commercial relations and academic collaborations that have been developing between the two countries in the recent years were discussed.
After the visit to the Rwandan Embassy, the program continued with the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) visit. In the meeting with the President of TUBITAK, Prof. Hasan Mandal, the possible collaborations with the University of Rwanda were discussed.
The University of Rwanda delegation visited the President of Yunus Emre Institute, Prof. Şeref Ateş. During the visit, the delegation was informed about the Institutes of YEI in Africa, its Turkish language teaching activities, Turkish Competency Exam (TYS), Thematic Summer Schools (Turkish Literature, Turkish Cinema and Archaeology Summer Schools), Cultural Diplomacy Academy and the Academic and Scientific Cooperation Portal of Turkey (TABIP) run under the auspices of the Presidency of the Republic of Turkey.
During the visit to the Ankara Yıldırım Beyazıt University, a meeting on the academic cooperation between the universities was held. The University's Rector Prof. Ibrahim Aydınlı, scholars and Yunus Emre Institute officials participated in the meeting.
On September 14, Tuesday, the University of Rwanda delegation were hosted by the Hacettepe University, Faculty of Medicine Dean, OSTIM Regional Director, OSTIM Technical University Rector, and the Ankara Social Sciences University, Regional Studies Institute, Africa Department Head. Academic cooperation opportunities were discussed during the meetings. A memorandum of understanding, which would greatly contribute to the academic cooperation works between Rwanda and Turkey, was signed between the University of Rwanda delegation and the OSTIM Technical University.
Scientists working at the University of Rwanda, visited Selçuk University Rector Prof. Metin Aksoy on September 15, Wednesday regarding the collaborations in student exchange programs, research and development projects and academic matters. Konya Science Center was visited after the meeting.
At the Istanbul stage of the program, the delegation was hosted by the Istanbul Technical University Vice-Rectors on September 16, Thursday. During the meeting, a cooperation protocol was decided to be signed regarding student exchange in the fields of economy, business management and data analysis and the improvement of bilateral relations.
The scholars from the University of Rwanda were hosted by Yıldız Technical University, Sultan Abdulhamid II Application and Research Center Director Prof. Ayşe Melek Özyetgin. Yıldız Porcelain Factory was visited after the meeting.
Cultural trips were held for the guest delegation in Ankara, Istanbul and Konya within the scope of their visit program.
YEI WILL STRENGTHEN THE RELATIONS BETWEEN RWANDA AND TURKEY
Yunus Emre Institute commenced its Turkish language teaching activities in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, in July 2021. The Turkish language courses continue in the location allocated by the University of Rwanda to the Institute within the cooperation protocol signed with the universities in Turkey.
In our interview with the University of Rwanda, Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy Dean, Prof. Jean Claude Byiringiro mentioned that the Yunus Emre Institute founded in Kigali, the capital of Rwanda, was an important step for strengthening the bonds between the two countries and the recognition of the Turkish culture in Rwanda.
Prof. Byiringiro stated that he visited Turkey for the first time and was quite impressed with Ankara, Konya and Istanbul, and said, "There is history and culture on every inch of Turkey, which itself is quite developed in tourism. Istanbul is a very beautiful city with many great cultures it shelters and its deep history."
Prof. Byiringiro mentioned that the Rwandan people knew very little about Turkey, and said, "In Rwanda, people do not know a lot about Turkey. There are very few people coming from Rwanda to Turkey. Turkish people have started to come to our country. There are those who come especially for the construction industry, and they have built two large buildings."
Prof. Byiringiro highlighted the benefits of the cooperation agreement between Yunus Emre Institute and the University of Rwanda, and expressed his thoughts on how the Institute would strengthen the bonds between the two countries as follows:
"I am quite pleased that Yunus Emre Institute has an institute in Rwanda. Yunus Emre Institute will help Rwandans to acquire more information about Turkey and the Turkish culture. Besides, the Institute will lead more collaborations between Rwanda and Turkey and will contribute to establishing better bonds between the people of the two countries.
TURKISH WILL BE POPULARIZED IN RWANDA
Prof. Byiringiro mentioned that Yunus Emre Institute will organize Turkish language teaching activities at the University of Rwanda thanks to the cooperation between the Institute and the University and continued his words as follows:
"There are some activities being carried out at our university regarding Turkish language teaching due to our cooperation agreement with Yunus Emre Institute. There are many young people who wants to learn Turkish and have education in Turkey. Therefore, they come to our university and want to learn Turkish. Besides, there are many advantages of learning Turkish in the professional life. I think that businessmen would also like to learn Turkish. Speaking Turkish provides an important advantage. I think that the demand for Turkish will increase in Rwanda, and learning Turkish would be loved more."
Byiringiro mentioned that they wanted the universities in Rwanda and Turkey to carry out exchange programs and joint scientific studies, and continued his words as follows:
"Exchange programs are one of the priorities of the partnership agreements we execute with the universities. Therefore, the exchange of students, teachers and resources between organizations in one of the focal points of our agreements. Another important focal point is carrying out collaborative research. Besides, collaborations in the field of teaching are among these subjects, and this is something we would like to carry out with the universities in Turkey."