Rwandan Opposition Leader Receives
Doctoral Degree from Bethel College
Frank Habineza, founder and president of the Opposition Democratic Green Party of Rwanda will receive an honorary Doctoral Degree from Bethel College, Mishawaka, Indiana, USA, during a campus ceremony at 10:00 am Friday, March 15, 2013. The degree is presented in honor of Mr. Habineza’s work in promoting democratic reforms and human rights in Rwanda and across Africa.
The Democratic Green Party of Rwanda was officially launched in August 2009 as an alternative to President Paul Kagame’s Ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front, where most of its founding members had belonged. However, they found it very difficult to get the Opposition Party registered and during the 2010 presidential elections, the party faced so many challenges that it was not able to field a candidate. It had confirmed Frank Habineza as its presidential candidate. However, given the difficult circumstances at the time, Habineza had to leave the country for Sweden, where he stayed for two years. He was finally able to return in September 2012, in order to re-establish the party and enable it participate in parliamentary elections due this September.
In addition to forming the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda, Habineza was elected president of the African Greens Federation, a coalition of 30 political parties and movements from 29 African countries in April of 2010.
In 2012 the Africa Greens Federation, with Frank Habineza as president, was able to assist in the democratic programs of at least ten Green Parties in different sub-regions of Africa, including the registration of the Federation with the government in Burkina Faso.
Frank Habineza worked in the government of Rwanda as a personal assistant to the Minister of Lands, Environment, Forestry, Water and Mines in 2005 and 2006. He was National Coordinator for the Nile Basin Discourse Forum of Rwanda, from 2006-2009 and was also founder chairman of Rwanda’s NGO’s Forum on Water, Sanitation and Environment. He is a graduate of the National University of Rwanda, earning a degree in Political and Administrative Sciences with a major in Public Administration.
He received a Democracy Prize in Swedish Parliament in April 2011 and an African Leader in Innovation and Sustainability Award in August 2011 from Pilot International-Uganda.
In his Christian ministry, he has worked very closely with World Partners, the overseas agency of the Missionary Church, an evangelical denomination with headquarters in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The Missionary Church has over 500 U.S. churches and thousands of churches worldwide. World Partners employs a staff of 100 people serving in over 20 international locations who work with a growing network of nationals in various countries to develop disciple-making movements around the world. As part of its ministry, World Partners participates in programs such as community development, medicine, agriculture, education, Bible translation, literacy and leadership training.
Bethel College is affiliated with the Missionary Church. Bethel (www.bethelcollege.edu) is uniquely qualified to provide educational opportunities for all students, traditional and non-traditional, who are interested in a liberal arts program of studies with career and personal growth orientations. It offers studies including master's, baccalaureate and associate degrees for the broad spectrum of students and in a variety of settings.