B2R Fellow, Irene Kwihangana, graduated from Texas Christian University last year and is currently working as a mechanical engineer for CIMERWA, Ltd.a partner of Pretoria Portland Cement-PPCand the leading producer of cement in Rwanda.

As a mechanical engineer, Irene assists in planning, coordinating and solving technical problems in order to improve the reliability of the plant while minimizing costs. He also assists in doing analysis and technical writing the plant’s major equipment. 

From the time I started my freshman year, I knew I wanted to work in Rwanda or somewhere in Africa. I wasn’t going to be a statistic contributing to Africa’s brain drain. For me coming back to work in Africa is a necessary sacrifice; it opens up opportunities to contribute meaningfully to the development of my home country.

I remember looking at a picture that was shared by a friend. The picture depicted old New York and new New York. The picture stuck in my mind and I remember telling myself, “We can do this in Rwanda and in Africa at large.