Kigali, 26 March 2018

President Kagame has delivered a Keynote Address at the Next Einstein Forum (NEF) global gathering which opened in Kigali today.

The three-day event brings together over 1000 participants from the world of science and technology, to unveil breakthroughs in science, respond to existing challenges and look to the future. The 2018 NEF global gathering will be marked by an award ceremony, where NEF fellows will be recognised for outstanding work as Africa’s young best scientists and technologists.

In his Keynote Address, President Kagame underscored the significance of science and mathematics to human progress.

“Human progress, after all, is grounded in the mastery of science and mathematics. When researchers and commercial enterprises apply those capabilities to practical problems, they discover innovations that save lives and transform economies. Knowledge economies are prosperous economies. Today, more than ever before, adequate math and science proficiency is a prerequisite for a nation to attain high-income status, and the gains in health and well-being that go along with it.”

President Kagame stated that as Africa works to catch up to the rest of the world in the field of science, it was imperative that women and girls are brought on board so as to close the gender gap.

“For too long, Africa has allowed itself to be left behind. But that is starting to change, as we see in the important work on display at this forum. But as Africa catches up to the rest of the world, we cannot afford to leave our women and girls out of the equation. The gender gap in science is a global phenomenon, but that is no reason to accept it as inevitable. Whatever the causes may be, we have to dedicate ourselves to closing the gap, because opportunity will never be equal without equal access to knowledge.”

President Kagame is expected to participate in a Presidential panel tomorrow themed: ‘Laying the groundwork for knowledge-led Economies’.

The Next Einstein Forum (NEF) is an initiative by the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) in partnership with the Robert Bosch Stiftung, a charity organization that promotes natural and social sciences.