Participants at the Second Africa Wide STI Conference

 

The Second Africa Wide Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) Conference opened on Tuesday in Kigala, Rwanda with a call for Africa to deepen collaborations that will accelerate progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Hosted by the Government of Rwanda in collaboration with the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) and the Africa Union Development Agency, the Africa Wide Science Technology and Innovation Conference, with the Theme: Deepening conversation on the role of science, technology, & innovation to transform Agriculture and food systems in Africa, the hybrid conference aims to provide a platform for science, technology, and innovation (STI) players to deliberate on technologically innovative efforts underway as humanitarian responses.

In his opening remarks, The Director General of Rwanda Agriculture and Animal Resources Development Board (RAB), Dr. Patrick Karangwa who appreciated the AATF for choosing Rwanda to host the Conference, assured that Rwanda’s ambition to be an innovation and technology hub as well as its delivery on international agreed commitments for development of the continent and the globe will be upheld.

Rwanda emerged, for the third time in a row, the best performing country in implementing the seven commitments of the June 2014 Malabo Declaration, which seeks to end hunger and halve poverty by 2025 through advancing agriculture.

“This workshop is a real benefit, and a momentum to expand and deepen our collaboration to accelerate progress and adoption towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).” He said.

Rwanda’s Minister of Agriculture, Dr. Gerardine Mukeshimana assured the participants of the full support of the Government of Rwanda to the advancement of Science, Technology, and Innovation in Africa for sustainable economic growth and agricultural transformation.

“Effective implementation of this strategy requires sustained investment in Research and Development as well as getting the new technologies and innovations into the hands of stakeholders in key sectors of our economies including agriculture,” Dr Mukeshimana said.

Executive Director, AATF, Canisius Kanangire, in his remarks linked the achievement of the SDGs in Africa to how well the continent is able to develop its agriculture prowess.

He said that agriculture in Africa is currently characterised by low productivity, and that reflects into low production of food on the continent, which as a consequence goes to food and nutrition insecurity.

This, he said is the reason for the low income of the farmer.

Kanangire said that AAFT has gone a head ahead by supporting the development of improved varieties of some crops in some African countries to aid farm productivity and food availability on the continent.

 

 

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