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Rwanda: Union of the Blinds recognizes TOPAFRICANEWS contribution in advocacy that yielded into the ratification of Marrakesh Treaty


The Rwanda Union of the Blind (RUB) has thanked TOPAFRICANEWS ( and other stakeholders for their role in advocacy for the request of the National Authority to ratify the Marrakesh Treaty.

According to the Official Gazette of the Republic of Rwanda n° 27 of 07/09/2020, the law N° 013/2020 of 07/09/2020 signed by President Paul Kagame approves the accession of Rwanda to the Marrakesh Treaty to facilitate access to published works for persons who are blind, visually impaired or otherwise print disabled, adopted at Marrakesh, in Morocco, on 27 June 2013.

The law stipulates that “Pursuant to the Constitution of the Republic of Rwanda of 2003 revised in 2015, especially in Articles 64, 69, 70, 85, 87, 88, 90, 91, 93, 106, 120, 122, 167,168 and 176; After consideration of the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons who are Blind, Visually Impaired or otherwise Print Disabled, adopted at Marrakesh, in Morocco on 27 June 2013;

Article One: Approval for accession

“This Law approves the accession of Rwanda to the Marrakesh Treaty, in annex, to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons who are Blind, Visually Impaired or otherwise Print Disabled, adopted at Marrakesh, in Morocco, on 27 June 2013.”

After the publication of the law in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Rwanda, RUB via its Twitter account thanked the Government of Rwanda for approving that law and others including the TOP AFRICA News website ( who contributed in advocacy campaign for the ratification of Marrakesh Treaty.

The Managing Director of TOP AFRICA NEWS thanked RUB and assured that TOP AFRICA NEWS will continue to be involved in any advocacy but especially advocacy for people with disabilities and disadvantaged persons.

Mr. DUSABEMUNGU Ange de la Victoire, TOP AFRICA NEWS's Managing Director said: “Even if the resources of TOP AFRICA NEWS are limited, but voluntarily and competently, our team will continue to contribute to any advocacy for the well-being of people with disabilities.”

Recently the Executive Director of the Rwanda Union of the Blind (RUB), Dr Donatille Kanimba, said that visually impaired persons have a big challenge regarding access to information as they do not have what they can read, the problem she hopes will be solved by the fact that Rwanda signs the Marrakesh Treaty.

The Marrakesh Treaty was put in place to facilitate access to Published Works for Persons who are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled.

It provides for the exchange of accessible-format books across international borders by organizations that serve people who are blind, visually impaired, and print disabled.

What will Rwanda benefit from the signing of the Marrakesh Treaty?

The ratification of the Marrakesh Treaty has many benefits for both the visually impaired and the country as a whole, according to Clemence Mukarugwiza, RUB’s deputy director.

“You know that once an educated person reaches the job market, he/she pays taxes, that is the benefit to the country. So once the agreement is ratified, children who are blind will learn to get rid of the barriers, and tomorrow they will go to the job market, and their economy will grow.”

In addition, the role of beneficiaries in socio-economic activities will increase and will increase access to information and thus reduce illiteracy. The ratification will make the country more internationally recognized as a human rights promoter.

Mukarugwiza said due to RUB advocacy, a step had been taken towards the ratification of MT. The intellectual property law complying with MT is under process and the ratification document is currently being drafted at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs level.

About the education of the blind in Rwanda

Currently, there are three primary schools in Rwanda for the blind, which are in Rwamagana, Kibeho and Musanze.

At least 30 blind children start primary school and those in high school are between 5 and 10 today.

Statistics from the National Institute of Statistics, NISR (2018) show that of the more than 2.5 million children in primary schools, 1% were children with disabilities while 5.5% of them were the blind. Of more than 592,000 who were in secondary schools 0.77% had different disabilities, 29% of them were blind.

In Rwanda the first blind student stepped into university in 2008 compared to 1963, the year the first person to enroll in a Rwandan university.

According to RUB, there is not a single school in Rwanda for deafblind people whose communication mode is tactile sign language.

The Marrakesh Treaty is linked to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), which ensures the right to inclusive education for children with disabilities in its Article 24. Rwanda has been part of it since 2008.

Although progress on the policy level as well as the practical implementation of these policies has been made in Rwanda, many challenges remain concerning inclusive education for children with disabilities.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of TOPAFRICANEWS.

Media Contact:
DUSABEMUNGU Ange de la Victoire
TOP AFRICA NEWS Managing Director
Tel: +250 787105131

Top Africa News. com ( is a Private shareholder Digital News Website managed by AFRICA NEWS DIGEST Ltd, a Domestic Company registered in Rwanda Development Board.

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