Kigali, 5 July 2017

President Kagame has said that the human capital that Africa needs will be reached faster when boys and girls can make equal use of opportunities. While delivering a Keynote Address at the opening of the SDG Africa Center conference on Tertiary Education, President Kagame pointed out that it was the stakeholders’ responsibility to create the right conditions for delivering the 21st century education that African youth deserve.

“We are happy to host the expertise gathered here to discuss how Africa can build quality tertiary education and research. Africa needs many more graduates with knowledge and skills to grow and sustain our economies and shape the continent’s future. There has been much progress in education including through the catalyst that was the Millennium Development Goals. This is important to acknowledge because it shows that we can do it. Young Africans are ready, capable and willing to learn.More efforts are needed to give technical education its right value so that it contributes to Africa’s transformation.”

Concerning the relationship between public and private sector in transforming education in Africa, President Kagame observed that since governments alone cannot sustain the momentum needed, they have to find innovative ways to attract resources from private sector.

“Education requires heavy investment and returns are long term and not immediate. But there is no way around this. Businesses have vested interest in the quality of graduates and skills they bring to the market. I fully understand and support the idea that we must have this triangular relationship and between the private sector, government and the education sector. When you have the three together you have more of a chance to succeed with these efforts.”

On the significance of modern technology to the transformation of Africa, President Kagame said:

“Modern technology, including ICTs, present us with unprecedented opportunities to overcome barriers to delivering information and skills to our populations. In particular, affordable broadband will open up new pathways to world-class education, and vastly improve global collaboration on research.”

President Kagame pointed out that although the poor perception of technical education in many African countries was starting to change, more sustained efforts were needed to give technical education its right value, so that it can contribute meaningfully to Africa’s transformation agenda.