Swedish envoy to students: Confidence is everything

Swedish Ambassador together with School of Journalism Students at Gikondo Campus. Patience Nduwayezu
Swedish Ambassador and Ag. Dean of School of Journalism and Communication,Joseph Njuguna together with School of Journalism Students at Gikondo Campus after discussions. Patience Nduwayezu
Strive for self reliance, hard work, ambition to fulfill your dreams, Swedish ambassador advises UR students.

Self confidence, hard work and ambition. That’s what you need as a student to fulfill your career dream, according to the Swedish ambassador to Rwanda, Jenny Ohlsson, 42. She was delivering a public lecture to University of Rwanda students at the College of Business and Economics in March.

School of Journalism and Communication (SJC) of the University of Rwanda has a programme with the Swedish embassy and the media institute Fojo, since 2015.

The programme brings lecturers from regional and international universities and encourages volunteer programmes by inviting media experts to share their experiences with students. It also promotes exchange programmes and research among SJC staff and supports the publishing process. It also supports training opportunities for journalists and media managers through short and specialised courses.

Second time in Rwanda

The ambassador had a friendly discussion with the students and commented on the relationship between both countries and her experience from Rwanda, where she has lived since 2007.

“I really like Rwanda, and I always wanted to come back. But it is difficult to get Rwandan friends… but once you get them, they are your friends forever. That’s one similarity between our people, many foreigners think it’s hard to get to know Swedish people too”, Amb. Ohlsson said.

Sweden has been involved in Rwanda since 1997. They have opened an embassy in Kigali and cooperate in fields such as environment, private sector, gender, human rights, democracy and higher education.

”To be honest, Sweden didn’t know much about Rwanda before 1994. But after what happened during the Genocide, we learnt more”, she said.

At the beginning of the cooperation in 1997 the staff was renting a hotel room in Kigali, but now the embassy has a big office and 19 employees.

“We are no longer gathered in one room”, the envoy said.

The student representative, Fiona Muthoni, expressed gratitude on behalf of the school and students for the skills gained through the Fojo-program, that will last until 2019.

A year of change

“We want to thank you. 2015 was a year of change in SJC and from then on we had different interesting class sessions with volunteer lecturers and we learnt a lot which will help us in the future”, Muthoni said.

Between February and April, SJC received five volunteers from Sweden. They have been sharing their experience and knowledge from years of work in the Swedish media industry.

 Facts about Sweden

  • Sweden has 10 million inhabitants and is located in the north of Europe. It’s the third largest country in Europe by area and about 15 percent of the country lies above the artic circle.
  • Stockholm, the capital, is the biggest city (about 1 million people).
  • Sweden is a parliamentary democracy, with election every fourth year. At present the Social Democrats rule together with the Green Party (2017).
  • The living standard is high and in terms of health, life expectancy at birth in Sweden is 82 years. In general, Swedes are more satisfied with their lives than the OECD average.
  • When it comes to equality between the sexes, Sweden is one of the leaders, and the men definitely pull their own weight in staying home and raising infant children. In Sweden couples are entitled to 480 days of paid parental leave, and this time can be shared between parents.
  • Sweden is one of the world’s most innovative nations, and it has been called the most digitally connected economy. Swedes are early adopters of new technology and the country’s non-hierarchical society creates a fertile environment for new ideas.
  • Sweden is a major exporter of culture and the world’s biggest exporter of pop music in relation to GDP.

Source: www.oecdbetterlifeindex.org & www.studyinsweden.se