Denis Mukwege Centre of Excellence

In the Democratic Republic of Congo, women are systematically raped. Judiciary and politics do not intervene, without support nothing will happen. Religious and non-governmental human rights activists have been fighting for years to achieve that sexual violence is punished in Congo. A new Centre of Excellence is now being established to research the causes of violence, educate and train women and promote peace and stability in South Kivu, Congo and worldwide.

Center of Excellence for Women and their Rights

Interdisciplinary Centre at the Protestant University in Bukavu

 "Angel of Bukavu" - that's what the women who seek treatment at Panzi Hospital call him. Since the 1990s, Dr. Denis Mukwege has treated thousands of girls and women who have been victims of sexualised violence. For almost 20 years the German Institute for Medical Mission (DIFÄM) has accompanied the medical and human rights work of Denis Mukwege.

In 2018 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his work against sexual violence. "This prize is a call to humanity to put an end to this suffering," emphasised the gynaecologist at the award ceremony in Oslo. And he calls for a Global Fund to be set up to compensate victims of sexualised violence in armed conflicts. In addition, those responsible must be brought to justice.

Advocate for women's rights, peace and justice

Dr. Mukwege is not only a leading specialist in his medical field - serious injuries caused primarily by sexualised violence. He is also an advocate for the rights of women and girls, for peace and justice. Through his commitment, a chair has been established at the Protestant University in Africa (UEA) Bukavu to combat violence against women and girls in armed conflicts. This work is performed in the new Centre of Excellence Denis Mukwege (Centre d'Exellence Denis Mukwege). 

Research, education and transformation

The new interdisciplinary centre is designed to research and document the context of violence against women in Congo and to seek ways out of it. Women are to be trained and educated and to be promoted to leading positions both in the academic world and in society. The aim is to improve women's living conditions and change their role in society in the long term. This approach is intended to be a contribution towards peace in the region.

Germaine Furaha, a young professor of economics, heads the new centre. She has already recruited two young women for the initial research projects. Difäm will monitor and promote this process.


Dr. Gisela Schneider
Dr. Gisela Schneider Director of DIFAEM Merrit & Peter Renz Haus Im Rotbad 46, 72076 Tübingen Tel. +49/7071 206-811


Centre of Excellence Brochure