wpid-world-bank.jpgAt a high-level forum in the Rwandan capital,Kigali, President Paul Kagame, of Rwanda and World Bank Vice President for Africa Makhtar Diop highlighted Africas 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.



Themed?Accelerating Africas Aspirations,?the forum on Higher Education for Science, Technology and Innovation was co-hosted by the Government of Rwanda, a champion of science and technology, and the World Bank, one of Africas largest development partners in higher education. The forum aimed to boost science, technology, and engineering capability as a key driver of economic growth and job creation.



The governments represented at the forum (Ethiopia, Mozambique, Rwanda, Senegal and Uganda), private sector participants and development partners issued a communiqu? to the effect that they would invest strategically in science, technology, and engineering education to accelerate Africas progress into a developed, knowledge-based society within a generation.

H.E. President Paul Kagame?said:?“I welcome the commitment to strengthen and mobilise resources for building capacity in science and technology, in our pursuit of Africas socio-economic transformation. Our collective commitment must be followed by concrete action to drive innovation for the development of our people and our continent.”


Makhtar Diop, the World Banks Vice President for Africa, who delivered the keynote address, said:??To be more competitive, expand trade, and remove barriers to entering new markets, Africa must expand knowledge and expertise in science and technology. Let us set some bold targets: that we will see a doubling of the share of university students graduating from African universities with degrees in mathematics, science and technology by 2025. The time has never been more auspicious to focus on higher education, particularly in science, technology and mathematics.



In the concluding communiqu?, countries represented expressed their committed to collaborate with development partners and the private sector to support Africas 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..


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