Working in conjunction with Rwanda’s Ministry of Education and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, a Global Knowledge Initiative team presented preliminary findings from the Rwanda Science, Technology and Innovation Policy review on June 20 in Kigali, Rwanda. In attendance were various stakeholders representing a range of interests, including university administrators, government officials, and private sector leaders.
The preliminary report focused on impressions of Rwanda’s achievements in STI since the STI Policy was first introduced in 2005, and was based on interviews, surveys, and workshops with over 300 respondents and participants. GKI adopted this approach due to the lack of a clear monitoring and evaluation plan in the original STI Policy; while not as definitive an evaluation as a Policy with strong baselines and targets would have allowed, using stakeholder input did provide a rich portrait of how Rwanda’s economy and innovation system have grown over the past eight years.
After GKI presented the initial findings, attendees broke out into working groups based on the four pillars of the STI Policy: knowledge acquisition, knowledge transfer, knowledge creation, and innovation culture. In each group, facilitators invited feedback on priorities, incentives, and targets for action. This feedback will guide the next steps to be taken by MINEDUC and the National Science and Technology Commission, namely updating the STI Policy and developing an implementation strategy.
The meeting concluded with comments from Dr. Ignace Gatare, Director General of NSTC. Dr. Gatare thanked GKI and participants for their active engagement, and pointed out that the workshop itself was an example of “creating an environment of collaboration that has been a previous challenge of the [STI] policy.” Moving forward, he encouraged attendees to stay engaged with each other, as their genuine spirit of cooperation will be key for Rwanda to achieve its ambition of becoming Africa’s technology hub.
GKI has completed a draft review of the STI Policy Review and will submit it to the Ministry of Education for final review shortly. We are thrilled that we had the opportunity to be involved in this essential process, and hope to see the Government of Rwanda take steps to continue quickly, effectively using STI as a tool for social development.
Contributor: Colin Huerter