Award Story

Nurturing Future Generations Through Science Education

Eugene Mutimura
2006 Visiting Scholar from Rwanda
Eugene Mutimura speaking at podium

Known in Rwanda as a mentor and prolific researcher, Dr. Eugene Mutimura advocates for his country’s development of science, technology, and education. A 2006 Fulbright Visiting Scholar to Washington University in St. Louis, the former Rwandan Minister of Education and current Executive Secretary of the National Council for Science and Technology (NCST) has drawn from his academic background and resources to support Rwandan students, educational infrastructure, and scientific research.

Dr. Mutimura earned a doctoral degree at the University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, where he specialized in the mechanisms and management of non-communicable diseases, such as cancer, cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and diabetes, and conducted research on HIV and AIDS and the effectiveness of antiretroviral therapies. 

While his scientific research is notable, Dr. Mutimura’s contributions to promoting young scientists and the growth of Rwanda’s scientific infrastructure are equally impressive. During his tenure at the Inter-University Council of East Africa, he coordinated the World Bank-funded Eastern and Southern African Centres of Excellence Project, which supported research and education at 16 universities. As Executive Secretary at NCST, he continues to promote science and innovation in Rwanda stating, “Science and technology is a critically important enabler and a core driver for all that we do to promote our country to become a knowledge-based economy that pertains to the well-being of the people.”

Dr. Mutimura’s Fulbright award at the Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine allowed him to explore ideas which he utilized to improve care for fellow Rwandans who suffer from metabolic syndromes associated with HIV and AIDS. It also resulted in peer-reviewed publications. He has worked to establish collaborations and exchanges between Rwandan and American youth, noting: “It’s important that [this Fulbright award] becomes a cornerstone to train others and form new, wider partnerships.”

At a recent U.S. Embassy event in Rwanda, Dr. Mutimura underscored the importance of a Fulbright experience stating, “I personally believe that the Fulbright Program is one of the most important and beneficial programs for scholars in Rwanda, in the United States, and globally.”