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Scholarship student becomes youngest ever Rwandan minister

7 September 2017

Jean de Dieu
Jean de Dieu Uwihanganye (right) becomes the Minister for Transport and the youngest ever minister in Rwanda.

Equity and Merit graduate Jean de Dieu ‘Jado’ Uwihanganye has recently become the youngest ever minister in Rwanda, after being made Minister for Transport aged just 30.

Jado completed an MSc in Management of Projects (Construction) at Manchester through the Equity and Merit Scholarships scheme in 2013.

The scheme allows talented, disadvantaged students from some of the world’s poorest countries to complete a master’s programme at Manchester in a subject area which will benefit their home country. The University covered his tuition fees, while his living costs were generously funded by donors, the Allan and Nesta Ferguson Charitable Trust.

Studying abroad would not have been possible for Jado without the scholarship as both of his parents are subsistence farmers – in fact he also helped herd cattle in his village when he was younger.

Jado excelled at Manchester, finishing top of his class of more than 200 people and has since gone on to manage some of Rwanda’s most high-profile infrastructure projects, including stadia for the 2016 African Cup of Nations and extensive road building programmes.

Jado said: “Manchester grew my critical thinking and analysis, the experience there opened my eyes to other opportunities, and of course the knowledge of construction project management helped me to succeed in projects I worked on as project manager on my return.”

Jado is the perfect example of the impact Equity and Merit Scholarships can have on talented students. The scheme has supported more than 200 students over the last decade, all of whom have had a dream to pursue postgraduate level education in order to make a difference in their home countries. Their scholarships are made possible thanks to donations from alumni, staff and supporters of the University.