Patricie Uwase | What civil engineers and planners should know about building infrastructure in the real world: Lessons from Rwanda

Patricie Uwase

19/10/2020 12:00 am

9:30-11 am

To be delivered via Vimeo

Video recording available!


Over 25 years ago, Rwanda was almost on the brink of being wiped off the world map. Rwanda had just gone through one of the twentieth century’s worst genocides: the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi. This tragedy left the country’s infrastructure completely destroyed. Everything had to be built from scratch. Yet today, the City of Kigali, the capital city of Rwanda is widely known as the cleanest city in Africa. Rwanda, meanwhile, is ranked by the World Bank as the 2nd easiest place to do business in Africa. How can a country undergo such a complete transformation in so little time? What engineering and planning skills are really needed to rebuild a whole nation, at the pace Rwanda has done it?




Engineers, planners, and other actors have played a critical role in Rwanda’s reconstruction process.  In this presentation, I will describe their contributions, and highlight broader lessons regarding how world class infrastructure can be built with limited resources, even after complete destruction.


After completing her master’s in civil engineering (transportation engineering) at Cal, in 2015, Patricie returned home in Rwanda to participate in the reconstruction and development of her home country. Since September 2018, she has served as the Permanent Secretary for Rwanda’s Ministry of Infrastructure, which is in charge of building the country’s transportation, energy, water and sanitation as well as housing infrastructures. While at Berkeley, Patricie also took classes in the City and Regional Planning department and interned with the San Francisco County Transportation Authority.


Co-sponsored by the Center for African Studies and Institute for Transportation Studies


The talk is streaming on Vimeo here:

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