NYARUGENGE - A four-day high level summit on African regional education opened yesterday at Serena hotel in Kigali.
The summit which brought together leaders of higher institutions and representatives from over 200 universities across the globe was attended by the US Secretary of Education, Margaret Spellings. Spellings told participants that higher education can boost economic growth and global competitiveness.
“Education is the most powerful tool in addressing world challenges and it’s good to know that Rwanda is taking higher education as a priority. Today Rwanda has over 26,000 students enrolled in higher education, 24 times more than those who graduated in the three decades since 1963,” Spellings said.
The summit aims at building on discussions that began during the Higher Education Summit for Global Development that was held at the US Department of State in April this year.
It also aims at strengthening the role of the U.S and foreign higher education institutions in social and economic development worldwide.
While speaking at the same occasion, the President of the Senate, Dr. Vincent Biruta, said that Rwanda will achieve its Vision 2020 through promoting higher education.
“Rwanda is a small landlocked country but we are aiming big in order to achieve our Vision 2020. So we need to come out with solutions that will strengthen higher education in the country,” he said.
The Secretary-General of the Association of African Universities Prof. Goolam Mohamedbhai, said that Africa has suffered from poor methods of governance and faces many challenges.
“The majority of Universities here in Africa face many challenges like lack of funds and poor methods of governance in the field of higher education. So Universities should come together to create a strong linkage with U.S Universities in order to brave these challenges,” Mohamedbhai underscored.
Higher educational institutions in the developed and developing world, private sector businesses, and foundations were able to build partnerships and share best practices for development through the summit.
Particular attention will be paid to emerging and innovative technologies that will help overcome the obstacles to higher education and to knowledge and technology transfer in developing countries.
Other participants who attended the summit include American and African University presidents and representatives of other educational institutes, foundational leaders, and corporate executives.
This theme of the Summit is ‘Strengthening Africa’s human and institutional capacity for prosperity and global competitiveness.’