Experts in the field of education have emphasized the transformative potential of investment in basic sciences for African economies during the African Continental Conference on Basic Sciences for Transformation. The two-day conference, which opened on Tuesday, June 13 and organized by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in collaboration with Rwanda's Ministry of Education, is part of the International Year of Basic Sciences for Sustainable Development. Education officials highlighted how advancements in science and technology can spur economic growth, open up trade and investment opportunities, and generate employment opportunities across the continent. In her opening address, Minister of Education, Dr Valentine Uwamariya underscored the alignment of the conference with Rwanda's Vision 2050, which aims to establish a knowledge-based economy. She emphasized the crucial role of basic sciences, which are the foundation upon which applied sciences and technologies are built and seek to understand the fundamental principles governing the natural world, uncovering new knowledge about the universe, matter, life, and various phenomena. as the building blocks for applied sciences and technologies. Basic science is instrumental in the development of society and the expansion of human knowledge, benefiting various aspects of our lives, including energy, environment, and agriculture, said Uwamariya. She further emphasized that basic scientific research often leads to breakthrough discoveries and innovative technologies, citing examples such as electricity, telecommunications, computers, and modern medicine. The conference brought together delegates from local educational institutions, as well as representatives from international organizations including UNESCO, the World Academy of Sciences, and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, U.S.A. Professor Romain Murenzi, representing the president of the World Academy of Sciences, highlighted that investments in basic sciences not only contribute to economic development but also foster stable and peaceful societies in Africa. Murenzi emphasized the critical thinking skills acquired through basic sciences education, which are essential for building a society that understands its history and vision. Amal Kasry, UNESCO’s Chief of Section in Basic Sciences, Research Innovation, and Engineering in the Natural Sciences Sector said that strengthening basic sciences in Africa is crucial for addressing current challenges in fields like healthcare and energy resources. Kasry emphasized that basic science serves as the foundation for applied research, enabling the development of techniques and applications to tackle various challenges such as water and climate change mitigation. The conference also featured exhibitions showcasing hands-on training tools for teachers and students, including micro-science kits, artificial intelligence (AI) robotics, a virtual reality chemistry lab by Chemists Without Borders, and displays by national exhibitors engaged in scientific research.