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“I welcome the commitment to strengthen and mobilise resources for building capacity in science and technology, in our pursuit of Africa’s socio-economic transformation,” said Kagame.
“Our collective commitment must be followed by concrete action to drive innovation for the development of our people and our continent.”
President Kagame made the remarks while officially closing the High-Level Forum on Higher Education for Science, Technology and Innovation that has been taking place in Kigali at Serena Hotel.
The forum was co-hosted by the Government of Rwanda and the World Bank, with the aim of boosting science, technology, and engineering capability as a key driver of economic growth and job creation.
Both President Kagame and the World Bank Vice President for Africa, Makhtar Diop highlighted Africa’s urgent need for larger numbers of scientists, engineers, and technicians who can meet the growing market demand for such expertise and contribute to development and shared prosperity in their countries.
Some of participants at the function
The governments represented at the forum which included Ethiopia, Mozambique, Rwanda, Senegal and Uganda and private sector participants and development partners issued a communiqué to the effect that they would invest strategically in science, technology, and engineering education to accelerate Africa’s progress into a developed, knowledge-based society within a generation.
The countries committed to collaborate with development partners and the private sector to support Africa’s socioeconomic transformation with strategic actions to reform tertiary education systems; increase the share of students in science, technology and engineering; and improve the quality of learning and research.
They also committed to use growing foreign direct investment flows to build greater technological capability, to enroll more women in science and technology disciplines, and to strengthen science and mathematics education at all levels.
The forum highlighted the importance of setting up regional centers of excellence in various disciplines such as agriculture, biotechnology, health, water and sanitation, and ICTs.