In a colorful event held this September 15th, 2022 at its campus of Nyanza, the University of Lay Adventists of Kigali (UNILAK) celebrated its 25th anniversary.
Being driven by the spirit of having their own school where their children could still grow in their faith, and being lead by the zeal of bringing their contribution to the rebirth of Rwanda after the genocide against Tutsi in 1994; Adventist parents sat together and resolutely decided to start their own institution of higher learning.
“In this celebration which is the acclamation of a past rich in glory, it is towards, these founders, that our eyes must first turn. It was a difficult mission to which they were invited twenty-five years ago. To seal the restoration of Faith in Science, great intelligence and great hearts were needed. Closing our eyes to risks and obstacles, they have realized their purpose in all its fullness;” said Professor Jean Ngamije, the Vice Chancellor of UNILAK in his allocution.
My profound thanks go to the Rwandan government and other important players who have contributed to our success over the last 25 years via their ongoing support and collaboration; we shall keep relying on this partnership. Added Professor Ngamije.
The University of Lay Adventists of Kigali; an eminently national work, dear to all Rwandans and international community was founded by the esteemed Rwandan Lay Adventists parents; members of the Federation of Adventist Parents Associations for the Development of Education in Rwanda (FAPADER) which is an association of several lay Seventh day Adventist primary and secondary school that include: APACE, APADE, APAG, APADENYA, APAER, APARPE, APARUDE, ASPEJ, UMWUNGERI, and APADEM.
God blessed us and enabled us to realize what we have been dreaming for. We are grateful for the good leadership of our country which gives us a good working environment and grant us many facilities as well as advices through its Ministry of Education and especially the Higher Education Council. May our God protect the country and its leaders, May God bless UNILAK and all its endeavors; said Pr. Ruhaya Ntwali Assiel; the UNILAK legal representative.
His words were echoed by the delegate from the Ministry of Education; Engineer Pascal Gatabazi who hailed the university for a such milestone and for its contribution in education and also for the good values it instills in its students. He congratulated the founders of the schools and the progress made by the university since its creation.
Created in 1997; UNILAK was fully accredited by the government of Rwanda through the Ministerial Order NO 002/09 of 09/04/2009. It has expanded its activities from Kigali City to Nyanza District in Southern Province and Rwamagana District in Eastern Province.
“Seeing UNILAK at this silver jubilee is bliss for me. It is a blessing to have someone who fits in your shoes” I highly congratulate those who managed to continue what we have started for all they have done and for all they will continue to do as the university grow even further;” said Pastor MPYISI Ezra; one of the founders of UNILAK.
The Governor of the Southern Province, Mrs KAYITESI Alice, in her speech has congratulated UNILAK for its contribution in the social economic development of its neighboring community and has promised all the support and collaboration to the institution.
UNILAK; a hub of knowledge and wisdom has successfully initiated different programs and brought its contribution in scientific researches especially in cooperative management and development, environment management and natural resources protection as well as disaster and emergency management from 1997-2022 and this was in line with its mission of being a leading university in Africa and bringing its support to the development of the country.
UNILAK gains huge reputation from the local, National and International level by the expansions of its social development activities and network. UNILAK sealed various agreements of partnership with different national, private and international institutions and organizations and from these partnerships; a Joint (by Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography- XIEG, a branch of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and UNILAK) Research Center for Natural Resources and Environment in East Africa was inaugurated in November 2016 and was therefore upgraded from national level to a regional level as part of SAJOREC (Sino-Africa Joint Research Center).
UNILAK currently has four faculties which offer courses at both undergraduate and master’s level namely in the Faculty of Law, Faculty of Economic Sciences and Management, Faculty of Environmental Studies and Faculty of Computing and Information Sciences; and has enrolled more than 30.000 national and international students since its creation. Around 25.000 of those students have obtained their degrees during the 16 graduations ceremonies held by UNILAK since 2009 to this time.
From 2019, UNILAK started welcoming a big number of international students from various countries of Africa. Today, more than 250 students from 18 countries of Africa have enrolled with UNILAK.