BY JAMES BUYINZA
The British Department for International Development (DFID) has launched a project dubbed “Rwanda Science, Technology and Innovation for Results” (STIR) worth £0.7m (approx. Frw750m) as an initiative to further science and technology in the country.
This was disclosed by the DFID’s Chief Scientific Advisor, Sir Gordon Conway who, together with the DFID chief economist Tony Venables, are in the country to explore innovation in science and technology, and economic growth.
The project is a shared venture between the government of Rwanda, DFID and the World Bank which seeks to help build stronger scientific and technological skills in Rwanda.
“STIR funds will aim at assessing what the country needs in order to realise development that include value addition to our agricultural exports among others, to enable Rwanda attain a favourable balance of trade and improving per capita income that will subsequently raise people’s standards of living,” Conway said.
The project will work closely with the ministries of Science, Technology and Research, and that of Finance and Economic Planning, the private sector, including small-scale businesses, and institutions.
Added Conway: “It is within those domains within a fast-growing economy that demand should be identified and dealt with accordingly.”
The Minister for Technology and Research in the President’s Office in, Prof. Romain Murenzi lauded the initiative, emphasising that it is only through technological advancement that Rwanda can realise significant growth.
The minister also pointed out some of the tremendous achievements in science and technology that the country has attained, saying that the government continues to entrench technology at primary school level.
He added that Science and technology strategies in agriculture have also been designed to enable transformation and competitiveness of crops and animal products, development of ICT network such as the installation of the 40m-Karisimbi Antenna, among other endeavours.