What better way to gauge where we stand than to look at our neighbours? Let’s take a look at a few stories that made headlines recently around the continent…
Looking no farther than our neighbour to the north – Uganda. Under the auspices of the Ugandan Ministry of Water and Environment, Uganda is gearing to become a Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) hub over the next three years with millions of dollars invested in monitoring and verification of carbon credit transactions.
Victims of the internet outage due to the severed submarine optic cables continue to wait for the cables to be repaired. This came about after an illegally anchored ship cut two cables in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Kenya resulting in East African telecom operators and Internet Service Providers struggling to identify alternative carriers to route traffic. The damaged cable affected internet speeds all over East Africa – Rwanda included. Repairs are scheduled to be completed in two weeks.
Disease-resistant chickens and long-lasting pineapple juice are just two innovations to emerge from the first phase of the African Women in Agricultural and Development scheme. Rwanda’s Christine Mukantwali focused her research on food processing and storage as a solution to the common problems that arise from inadequate pasteurization: this resulted in her innovative techniques to preserve pineapple juice for a long time. Kenya’s Sheila Ommeh seeks to create a ‘super chicken’ with high disease resistance that is high in meat and egg production: she used genomic selection and breeding to achieve this. Good job Ms Mukantwali!
Guinea is ready for yet another fresh start! With the fourth water project underway (the last three having been miserable failures), Guineans are promised improved infrastructure for production, bulk transfer, storage and distribution of water. This is in the works alongside the new thermal plants planned for the capital. I only brought this up to remind ourselves how lucky we, Rwandans, have it albeit the room for improvement!
Founded on a strong conviction that the continent has the potential to produce enough rice to feed itself, The Africa Rice Centre formally unveiled a ten-year research strategy to help boost rice production and empower the continent to become 90 per cent self-sufficient in rice production by 2020. The priorities for research include climate-resilient rice grains, expanded market opportunities for small holders, to mention a few. This pan-African research group embodies everything we need to aim for in the various facets of socio-economic development of our continent.
The state of Lagos in Nigeria recently set up an advisory council to foster the state into becoming the innovation hub for West Africa. This council would help strengthen the capacity of Lagos through Science and map out strategies for innovation and innovation management that would subsequently lead to job creation and stem poverty. The two-pronged approach makes me clap my hands in excitement: the first approach is to map out groups of people engaged in some form of innovation and the second approach seeks to develop a state policy on the STEM fields with a focus on innovation. Is there such a board in Rwanda? (All the above news stories are courtesy of allafrica.com)
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