Education officials visit science exhibition stands during the science day celebrations (courtesy photo)
The private sector in Rwanda has been called upon to invest in science research to ensure sustainable national development.
The call was made by the Rector of the Kigali Institute of Education (KIE) Prof. George Njoroge during the World Science Day celebrations that took place on March 17 at KIE. The day was held under the theme ‘Chemistry a Key to Sustainable Development’.
“I urge the private sector to consider investing into science and research because it is the only sure way through which the national can develop sustainably,” said Njoroge in an interview with ubwenge.com.
According to him, one cannot talk about research without investment. He urged institutions and private sector to venture into partnerships in order to champion this cause because it’s crucial to socio-economic transformation of the country.
In Rwanda, science research especially in universities and institutions of higher learning is still very low as revealed by Njoroge.
“The situation of research in the country is not good at all. Research is not only measured by research innovation, but also by research publications. In Rwanda, publication output is about 260 only which is bad compared to other African countries that dominate in this area which include South Africa, Nigeria and Egypt,” he said.
However, he emphasized commitment by both the private sector and government towards research as the only way to go.
In an interview, the Director General for Science, Technology and Research in the Ministry of Education Dr. Marie Christine Gasingirwa, said that there is political will on the side of the government, but investment into the research is hindered by lack of enough resources to commit.
“There is a NEPAD agreement that says that all governments should invest 1% of their budgets into research, but with our numerous problems, we look at what is most important the other making it difficult to invest the percentage,” said Gasingirwa.
She however, said that government is trying to promote science and research through training of scientists.
At the KIE event, numerous local scientists exhibited their research findings and innovations and some of the products that they have been able to bring to market through research.