The President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame while addressing an audience made up of Africa’s leading scientists, policymakers and startups at the Next Einstein Forum (NEF) in Dakar, Senegal on March 9, 2016.
Kagame told the audience that for Africa to develop more needs to be done regarding investments in science and technology. He reiterated that the African continent is currently under much pressure to catch up and keep up (if not overtake) other world regions in as far as leveraging on technology is concerned.
Kagame said that investment in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics is a sure path to economic prosperity and social inclusion.
“This starts with a change in our mindset. We really cannot be satisfied with just ending extreme poverty. Our aim is shared and sustainable prosperity. And the key to that is science and innovation, bout by research,” said Kagame.
The first-ever Next Einstein Forum was held in Dakar, Senegal from March 8-10 that saw African and world leaders from more than 100 countries come together to deliberate on the potential of investing in STEM.
“Africa does not invest enough in research and development, and the share of higher education students enrolled in science and engineering is too low. Women comprise less than one-third of researchers and even fewer scientists and engineers, which means we are not using our human resources to the full,” said Kagame.
The forum was also used to showcase the work of the inaugural class of NEF Fellows picked from nine countries in Africa including Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda. The classes chosen made groundbreaking contribution to science. It is important to note that women made up 40% of the 15 NEF Fellows.
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