UJ honours renowned physicist and former Rwandan science minister Prof Romain Murenzi

South Africa and Africa in general are lucky to have you as graduates. Our continent has an acute shortage of scientists. It is said that Africa will need more than one million scientists and engineers in the next decade. The skills and knowledge you have acquired in the various fields of engineering including mining engineering, chemical engineering, and industrial engineering are in critical need.

These were the sentiments shared by Professor Romain Murenzi on Wednesday, 24 April 2019 upon receiving a Honoris Causa degree in Engineering as recognition for his achievements and contributions to society.

Said Prof Daniel Mashao, Executive Dean: Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment (FEBE) UJ, “Prof Murenzi has contributed to the engineering field and in particular and his work on Cauchy wavelets. He is an author of several scientific journals including co-authoring a textbook on two-dimensional wavelets. He has served society in various portfolios and has proved his true passion for the value of education and in transforming lives for the benefit of society.”

Professor Romain Murenzi has had an impressive academic career. He was born in Rwanda and raised in Burundi. He completed his bachelor degree in 1982, Masters in 1986 and a doctorate in 1990. He became a full professor in 2000.

“Drawing attention to his role as Government Minister of Education, Science, Technology and Scientific Research in Rwanda. This is impressive when one considers the progress that the country of Rwanda has made in a very short space of time,” added Prof Mashao.

Said Prof Murenzi, “There’s no doubt that if we could create a million new scientists for Africa in the next decade, or even two decades, that could have a very positive impact. Not only do these PhD scientists do research, but they teach and serve as mentors. They establish businesses, they provide advice to government or enter public service. They become important links in regional and international networks.”

Prof Murenzi is currently the Executive Director of TWAS (The World Academy of Sciences). He is also active on the Advisory Board of Scientists without Borders, and also on the Scientific Board of UNESCO International Basic Science Programme.

In the citation read on stage during his conferment, Prof Murenzi noted that education, the inclusion of women, changes in policy, the establishment of academies, the development of technology and international cooperation must work in concert to build a robust new generation of problem-solving PhD scientists.


Murenzi Phd
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