KIGALI - The government of Rwanda is soon to establish an Endowment Fund to cater for scientific innovation development, a necessary tool for the country’s development.
The idea comes out as one of the resolutions of the just concluded International scientific conference held in Kigali that assessed the potential of Science, Technology and Innovation to achieve Millennium Development Goals in Rwanda.
Minister of Education Dr. Charles Murigande welcomed commitment of support expressed by both United Nations Country Resident Coordinator and African Union commissioner who pledged not only financial assistance but also the skills required to ensure the establishment of the fund.
According to the resolutions, the fund will push the country’s common objectives and commitment to collective actions to develop and use technological innovation for the socio economic transformation of the country and its integration in the development strategic plans.
The fund will also help in developing an extensive research and development, at the same time increasing capacity for the centers of excellence in science and technology.
Murigande said at least every district has got one school of excellence in science and technology and the government target is to increase them to three schools in each district by 2015.
He also said government is considering establishment of a Science, Technology and Innovation Council that will comprise a committee of scientists to assess scientific ideas and their integration in relevant sectors.
Emphasizing the necessity of developing technological Innovation in Africa, Thierry H. Amoussougbo of UN Economic Commission for Africa, urged African countries to allocate a percentage of their GDPs in Research and Development as means to evaluate their advancements.
“How else would we know if we are on the right track, if we are reluctant to build a critical mass of experts and scientists to formulate and evaluate strategic policies we design for development of our countries?” challenged Amoussougbo.
He also noted that successful establishment of Fund for Innovation will bring to an end external aid for research and development.
Rwanda’s Innovation Fund will be the work of public, private sector partnership. However, the date of its launch and budget is not yet disclosed as the project is to first be studied.
The concluded conference assessed the relevance of Science, Technology and Innovation in different sectors ranging from Agriculture, health, education, environment and energy as compiled in World’s aspiring targets of MDGs.