The East African Science and Technology Commission launched in Kigali…

The East African Science and Technology Commission, or EASTECO, has been officially launched in the Rwandan capital city, Kigali, on November 13th 2015.

The commission was launched during the Rwandan EAC Awareness Week, held from 9-14 November by the Government of Rwanda, under the theme “Eight Years of Rwanda in the EAC: Deepening the regional integration agenda”. 

The Guest of Honor at the EASTECO Launch ceremony was Ambassador Valentine Rugwabiza, Rwanda Minister for East African Community Affairs, who represented the Government of the Republic of Rwanda as well as the EAC Council of Ministers responsible of EAC Affairs.

In her statement, Amb. Valentine Rugwabiza said the Commission is very important to the regional development and called for concerted efforts to support it to achieve its objectives.

“The EAC believes that science and technology is a powerful tool to drive regional development; however, the EASTECO staff alone cannot achieve that goal. I therefore, call for partnership with governments, private, research and innovation institutions to ensure the commission delivers to the best,” she quoted.

Amb. Rugwabiza pledged Rwanda’s significant support to the Commission and assured that, though hosted in Rwanda, EASTECO will strive to serve regional needs.

“Considering that two-third of the EAC population is under 30 years old, we shall make use of our energetic youth, put in place the right policies creating a good environment for the Science and Technology to realise the development we envisage,” she said.

Gertrude Ngabirano, the EASTECO Executive Secretary, said the commission will strive to unlock East Africa’s development potentials through science, technology, research and innovation.

“We are committed to engage Partner States in the functioning of the Commission. The private sector and development partners will also be engaged and with all these hands, the Commission will boost regional development,” she said.

“We shall strengthen the existing national science, technology, ongoing activities and research Centres of Excellence to help them grow to the regional level but we should have a Centre of Excellence in at least each of the sectors of science and technology,” she added.

Gathered to the EASTECO launch event, representatives of EAC Partner States, including The Ambassador of the Republic of Burundi in Kigali, the High Commissioner of the United Republic of  Tanzania in Kigali, representatives of EAC organs and institutions (Members of the East African Legislative Assembly – EALA, Representatives of the EA Health Research Commission and EA Kiswahil Commission) among others.

 

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Amb. Valentine Rugwabiza, Minister of EAC Affairs, Rwanda, addressing the audience at the EASTECO Launch

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Ms. Gertrude NGABIRANO, Executive Secretary of EASTECO

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Amb. Valentine RUGWABIZA, Rwandan Minister of EAC Affairs (right), Ms. Gertrude NGABIRANO, Executive Secretary, EASTECO (2nd from right), High Commissioner of United Republic of Tanzania in Kigali (left), Ambassador of Republic of Burundi in Kigali (2nd from left) and Director General of Rwanda National Commission for Science and Technology (middle) following address from one of the speakers at the Launch.

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5Amb. V. Rugwabiza, Rwanda Minister of EAC Affairs greeting EALA MPs attending the EASTECO Launch. 

 

7A scene of the Audience at the EASTECO Launch. 

 

8A scene of the Audience at the EASTECO Launch. 

 

9Prof. Simala, Executive Secretary of EA-Kiswahili Commission talking with EASTECO Staff. 

 

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Prof. G. Kibiki, Executive Secretary of EA-Health Research Commission talking with Dr. I. Gatare, DG of Rwanda National Commission for Science and Technology.

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