The National University of Rwanda has received a new science laboratory worth 3.6 million Euros from the Belgian Technical Cooperation (BTC) as part of efforts to facilitate research into areas aimed at improving people’s welfare. According to Desire Ndushabandi, the NUR vice rector for finance and administration, the project would support the teaching of science especially chemistry and biology which are fundamental in the training of medical workers that would enhance the health sector. The new laboratory comprise of a building with a modern conference hall that can host more than 1,000 persons and rooms to accommodate laboratory equipment for both the students and staff researchers. The laboratory will be equipped with materials and will start operating in two months. Construction of the building cost €2.1 million while the laboratory equipment will cost the university €1.5 million. For the vice rector, such equipment will help the university to meet its core mission of providing “excellence in education and service to the people” by extending and carrying out different research projects that the university has been undertaking. “The facilities will help our researchers to conduct many studies like water analysis, food production among others that will benefit the whole population,” said Ndushabandi. He added that the facilities are not only open to NUR researchers, but also to anyone who may want to exploit them for the benefit of the country. “There is currently an issue of counterfeited medicine; so this matter does not only concern health ministry, but also mostly researchers who are frequently based on campuses. These facilities will be helping us to handle such issues,” added Fidel Ndahayo, dean of the faculty of sciences. Ndahayo also mentioned that the new equipment will help the university to properly exploit its resources by offering on ground more courses that used to cost them much money by sending some candidates abroad for doctoral courses. “We will soon be able to give some PhD research trainings, starting with environmental sciences and microbiology,” Ndahayo explained. “This will be done by bringing competent mentors who will in turn train many of our candidates on ground. We hope to get much success since they will be using local case studies directly responding to Rwandan issues.” So far, the National University in Butare has been a leading institution in research in the country. This has been in the areas of health insurance scheme, study on plastic materials’ impact on environment deterioration, study on grouped settlement habitation, Gacaca innovation and coffee among others. However, there have been concerns over failure to disseminate research findings so that the rest of the population can benefit from them. But officials say university uses the available channels such as international recognized journal and annual international research conference to make their findings known. The laboratory is one of the several initiatives that Belgium, through its development agency BTC, has been undertaking in sectors like education, infrastructure development, energy and health. In health, the interventions of BTC contribute to improved access to primary healthcare, through the construction and rehabilitation of health facilities.