Meet The Self-Appointed Champion For Science in Africa-Paul Kagame-Whose Own Universities Are In Shambles

By Dr David Himbara

Kagame went on a state visit to Guinea —straight after attending the Einstein Forum in Senegal. The gentleman lives in air these days. This year alone, he has visited Rwanda a few times between the following trips in 2 months and one week:

  1. Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (UAE)
  2. Dubai, UAE
  3. Switzerland
  4. Addis, Ethiopia
  5. Toronto, Canada
  6. Houston, United States
  7. Boston, United States
  8. Arusha, Tanzania
  9. Conakry, Guinea

But there is an even a bigger surprise from the absentee Rwandan ruler. He is a self-proclaimed champion of science in Africa. Speaking at the Einstein Forum in Senegal, Kagame had the following to say:

“”We really cannot be satisfied with just ending extreme poverty. Our aim is shared and sustainable prosperity. The key to that is science and innovation,bound by research…I can think of few missions more essential than enabling Africa’s brightest students to flourish as independent thinkers.”

Lord have mercy. Back in Rwanda, universities and higher education are in shambles. Kagame’s University of Rwanda is ranked 5,486 in the world — at the bottom of heap.

And listen to this. There are 230 practicing engineers in Rwanda. There are only 21 certified public accountants in Rwanda. With regards to healthprofessionals, we have in Kagame’s Republic 684 doctors, 108 dentists, and 99 pharmacists.

The last time I checked, we had one mathematician in Rwanda — Alexandre Lyambabaje.

Please Mr President, why don’t you find other topics — as opposed to knowledge creation and scientific inquiry? You may not be aware of this but scientific knowledge and related expertise go hand-in-hand with freedom of expression and liberty. “In order to exercise creativity, freedom of thought is essential” as the Dalai Lama reminds us all the time. Mr President these terms are alien to totalitarian control — an art your regime excels in.

About the author:
David Himbara is an educator, political economist, and author based in Toronto, Canada. He teaches and works in the field of development and competitiveness.