Rwanda Prime Minister Edouard Ngirente has officially opened the Africa Innovation Summit ongoing at Kigali Convention Centre in the capital Kigali.
For the next two days Stakeholders are undertaking extensive dialogues on innovation on the African continent, themed “Addressing Africa’s Challenges”. Over 2000 participants are attending.
The Premier revealed that Rwanda is scheduled to officially launch the National Research and Innovation Fund next week.
According to the Prime Minister, this Fund will serve as a major research funding vehicle through which research and research- based innovation activities shall be supported.
Meanwhile, after the Premiers Key note speech, the opening panel took to the stage for an interactive discussion exploring the topic “Innovation Africa: Challenges & Opportunities”.
The first plenary session explored Discussants on the panel included; Dr. Vera Songwe- Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa, Craig Wing, Futurist/Entrepreneur, Dr. Marie Christine Gasingirwa and Maria-Cristina Russo a member of the EU Research and Innovation directorate.
The continents top 50 innovators are attending this year’s summit.
According to Dr. Vera Songwe, she is concerned that out of the countries with 80-100% internet penetration, we only have one on the African continent (Kenya). “We need to do more!”
“On the continent today, we need our policy makers to be the entrepreneurs that allow us to move from innovation to scale,” Dr. Songwe said.
For her there is no shame in imitating good ideas. “Imitate and diffuse. That’s how you help spread really good innovations”.
More to follow