About Us

Rwanda Academy of Sciences

1. Background

The project of establishing the Rwanda Academy of Sciences (RAS) was initiated back in July 2013 under the auspices of the Ministry of Education with the support of both The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) and the African Academy of Sciences (AAS). It was later advised that the Academy should be established as an independent entity registered under RGB and with initial support from GOR and sustained support from GoR, decreasing over time. Following this advice Rwanda Academy of Sciences (RAS) has since been established on 28th October 2016 and registered by the Rwanda Governance Board under as new National Non-Governmental Organization. RAS has also recently been admitted (2018) as a Member of the Network of African Science Academies (NASAC). RAS aims at supporting the generation of evidence-based solutions to national, as well as global, challenges through effective promotion of utilization of Sciences for sustainable development. The following are RAS Objectives: • To promote sciences through: – Contributing to the elaboration of standards for scientific research in Rwanda in the quest for excellence in Sciences – Advocacy for financing research and education • To conduct systematic and evidence-based studies on national priority programs, producing authoritative reports that have significant impact on policy-making; • To support the capacity building of national scientists and researchers to establish and maintain high standards of endeavor in all fields of arts and sciences • To establish channels of access to national, regional and international Intellectual Public Good (IPGs) to enhance and fast-track the development of a scientific knowledge base through partnership with local, regional and international networks of knowledge and scientific societies. • To promote a culture of scientific excellence by establishing a regular award scheme for recognition of outstanding achievements in science. • To advocate for proper, safe and ethical exploitation of science and technology in national development. • To mobilize diversified sources of funding for sustainable functioning and growth of Science

II. RAS as research and innovation capacity resource.

Rwanda aims at becoming a knowledge-based economy. This requires utilization of science-based research and innovation outputs to this end. The quality and quantity of research necessary to impact and contribute to a given nation's economy has to be significant. In turn, this calls for availability of significant quality and quantity of human capacity in form of researchers. In 2017 the National Council for Science and Technology (NCST) completed putting together the Nation's Research and Innovation Agenda (NRIA), thus paving the way for a new phase of Rwanda's active research management and coordination. One of the challenges to the success of this phase is lack of adequate research capacity, and limited collaboration on major projects. Still the existing human and infrastructural resources, constitute a potential that can both be tapped into and grown. This is where RAS comes in, to augment the nation's research strength by organizing and focusing the available research capacity to support NCST to implement the nation's research and innovation agenda. Here is how this will be achieved: RAS will mobilize the national science community as a creative workforce, including the diaspora, towards the creation, transfer, maintenance, advancement and utilization of knowledge in major areas of human involvement. To achieve its mission, RAS has been organized into five thematic Sections, namely the: 1) Agricultural and environmental sciences Section; 2) Physical and Mathematical sciences Section; 3) Life and Medical Sciences Section; 4) Engineering and Technology Section; 5) Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Section. Each of these sections has a chair and an organizational structure. Each such section is constituted by Fellows and Members, all of whom are well distinguished in their given disciplines. These highly qualified researchers and innovators, whether living in the country or in diaspora, can be accessed by RAS on demand! Thus, beyond the national research centers and institutions like the University of Rwanda, RAS will constitute a large pool of researchers available to work on projects. This, is one of the most important uses of RAS, beyond outreach, science promotion (especially among the youth and females) and mobilization of research funding resources.

III. RAS Operationalization

RAS’ operationalization is still limited by scarcity of financial resources. Currently, RAS is looking for ways to mobilize its funding to operate efficiently. In spite of this RAS has registered achievements (see form) and looks forward to accelerated period of activities.