President Macky Sall of Senegal on Tuesday said African economies need to
transition to knowledge-based ones to sustain rapid economic development and growth.
“It is common sense that there is no development if there is no science and technology.
“We want to base our economies on science and technology in order to have knowledge-based economies in Africa,” said
Sall, at a presidential panel of the Next Einstein Forum (NEF).
He said major advanced economies across the globe are knowledge-based, and have demonstrated that investing in
technology, research and innovation lead to sustained growth and positive social and economic outcomes.
Rwanda hosts the March 26 to March 28 NEF, which focuses on highlighting the contributions of Africa’s scientists
and innovators to the global scientific community.
Also speaking, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, South African minister of science and technology, said Africa needs to
understand the role science and technology have played in shaping the future and prosperity of developed
“If we want to reach a certain level of excellence, we need a very solid quality base of the education system that
will propel Africa into knowledge-based continent,” she added.
In June 2014, the 23rd Ordinary Session of the African Union (AU) adopted a Science, Technology and Innovation
Strategy for Africa (STISA-2024).
According to the AU, the strategy banks on science, technology and innovation as enablers for achieving
continental development goals and is part of a long-ranging plan to accelerate Africa’s shift to an innovation-led,
This year’s NEF has brought together about 1,600 participants, including scientists, researchers, students, and
On his part, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, emphasised that a knowledge-based economy is the foundation of creativity and innovation which feeds into wealth creation and prosperity for all.
“In Africa we need to invest more in science and technology education for our young people to be able to invent and
“Knowledge-based economy is in line with the Africa we want,” he said.
Launched in 2013, the NEF is an initiative of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences in partnership with
Robert Stiftung, a German charity institution, which serves as a platform to connect science, society and policy
in Africa and the rest of the world.