Today, Rwanda signed the agreement to host East African Science and Technology Commission starting 1 July. Its objective is to promote and coordinate the development, management and application of Science and Technology in member states.
At the signing ceremony, Louise Mushikiwabo, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation said, “Rwanda expresses total support to this commission. We are committed to the use of science and technology for the benefits of the East African Community citizens”.
The Secretary General of the East African Community Dr. Richard Sezibera said that investment in Science and Technology is not a luxury nor a choice but a necessity to fast-track development.
“It is an imperative for East Africa if we are to successfully innovate and compete in a rapidly changing world,” adding that “science and technology are the keys that unlock East Africa’s potential to development. We are a community that must invest in its people.”
Dr. Sezibera said that, although rich in natural and other resources, East Africa’s wealth is not found underground but above it, in its minds and innovative potential of her people. “East Africa must move from potential to actual wealth; and science and technology enable us to make this leap.”
East Africa Science and Technology Commission will be hosted at Telecom House in Kigali with a proposed budget of US$ 1,894,400 (FRW 1,288,920,000) for the financial year 2014/2015.
The Science and Technology Commission is one of the EAC institutions as provided for under article 9 of the Treaty establishing East African Community. It is mandated to develop structures and frameworks, which will strengthen cooperation in science and technological advancement within the partner states. It is also expected to identify and address major issues of importance to science and society and facilitate interaction among scientists across all disciplines.
The Commission will also promote the participation of scientists from partner states in international scientific endeavours, and provide independent and authoritative advice, which will stimulate constructive dialogue among the scientific community