Mike and Colette Hughes
Nominated for International award
Mike and Colette Hughes are a married couple and are being nominated for their outstanding contribution over the last 20 years to the post-genocide recovery of Rwanda.
Mike was brought up in Cardiff and Colette in a refugee camp in southern Uganda after being forced to leave her native Rwanda with her family at the age of 8. They are founder members of the Rwanda/UK Goodwill Organisation (RUGO).
In 2002 their life radically changed following the horrific events of 1994 in Colette’s native Rwanda. Soon after the Rwandan genocide against the Tutsis, Mike and Colette helped to found the Rwanda UK Goodwill Organisation (RUGO) to support development in Rwanda – with Mike as its first Chairman and Colette hosting the early meetings in their home.
In 2002, they moved to Rwanda, where Mike initially advised the government on the development of sustainable rural energy. In 2004 he was appointed as the Rwandan Government advisor on science, technology and innovation through the ministry with that portfolio. From a next to ‘zero base’ following the genocide against the Tutsis, the country is now a leader in Africa in using science, technology and innovation as a key driver for growth and development and the alleviation of poverty. Mike regularly represents the Rwandan government at major international summits, showcasing Rwanda’s success in utilising science and technology to support economic development and poverty alleviation.
Mike and Colette still find the time to commit effort and energy into their charitable work. RUGO is still going strong after 20 years.