Rwandan President Paul Kagame has called on the youth to invest in science, technology, research and innovation, as he says it will drive the continent and potentially transform socio-economic situations in Africa.
“To unlock this potential, Africa must have well-trained science and technology professionals. I am told only around 25 per cent of tertiary education students in Africa are enrolled in science, engineering and technology. In fast growing countries such as Korea, China, and Taiwan, this figure is close to 50 per cent.”
Kagame related back to the Connect Africa Summit, which was held in the Rwandan capital of Kigali in 2007, that recommended the establishment of five centres of excellence in each sub-region of Africa.
“These centres would support the development of a critical mass of science and technology skills required for the continent’s advancement,” he explained. According to The New Times, he went on to explain that for Africa to utilise and benefit from global scientific research, it needs scientists who communicate and collaborate with their peers around the world on specific regional and international projects.
“Leveraging opportunities in science and technology contributes to the building of capacity across many sectors, including health, agriculture, trade and industry, infrastructure, environment, and ICT, all of which are key to development,” he said.
“They will help us fight against infectious diseases, increase food production, promote industrialisation, add value to natural resources and arrest degradation of the environment.”
Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor