Rwandan researchers especially young innovators can, effective today, start submitting proposals for their innovative projects and get funding.
On Wednesday, June 13, 2018, Rwanda’s Prime Minister Dr. Edourd Ngirente launched the National Research and Innovation Fund that will provide financing to competent innovative papers in the field of Science and Technology.
In March this year, government signed a $30 million (Rwf25 billion) loan with African Development Bank (AfDB) to run the fund.
According to Finance and Economic Planning Ministry, the fund will provide equity financing for tech enabled small and Medium-size enterprises, train tech-oriented entrepreneurs in business planning and management, and increase awareness and sensitization with respect to intellectual property rights.
The fund will also invest in and develop world-class innovative businesses in Rwanda and the wider East African region by providing patient institutional growth capital and deep business support.
According to Prime Minister Ngirente, “the National Research and Innovation Fund launched today will serve as a major research funding vehicle through which Rwanda will support research and research-based innovation activities,” he said at the launching event.
“The rationale behind, is to address key needs and tap into identified opportunities towards national growth and competitiveness,” he added.
Government has put much emphasis on Science and Technology innovations, to enable young Rwandans get the opportunity to speed up the country’s efforts to become a middle-income economy.
Several initiatives such as Ms Geek Africa and Youth Connekt are living examples.
From 200 girls selected across Africa, this year’s Ms Geek Africa prize was given to Salissou Hassane Yari Latifa from Niger during Transform Africa Summit in Rwanda’s capital Kigali.
Meanwhile, the launched fund, which coincided with the National Research and Innovation Symposium, is reviewed by analysts as a catalyst to innovation spirit in Africa through supporting and promoting young innovators in different sectors.
“Under the leadership of H.E Paul Kagame, the President of the Republic, Rwanda will keep supporting research and technology with particular emphasis to link our young innovators with the labor market,” Prime Minister Ngirente told participants at the symposium.
He appealed to participants to use their expertise and advise the government on how to efficiently build research and innovation capacity.