The New Times (Kigali)

28 February 2014

Rwanda: Facebook Deal Should Spur Research Culture

THE RECENT partnership formed between the Government of Rwanda and Facebook, a popular social networking platform, should be exploited by Rwandans, especially in the still backward area of research.

Research is the backbone of any prosperous economy with many major universities and technological firms investing billions of dollars annually.

But that costly hurdle is bound to be eliminated with the Facebook partnership as the country keeps its ambitions to be a middle income nation by 2020 on track.

The fact that SocialEDU, as the pilot initiative is called, will provide easy access to online resources from renowned universities - like the US-based Harvard - is an advantage, not only to Rwandan students, but also to everyone interested in research.

As the country strives to build a knowledge-based economy, this is a great tool that will help us realise our aspirations.

The ball is now on our side of the court to make use of the platform to enrich ourselves with knowledge that will continue to shape the social transformation process this country has taken.

Areas that should be particularly boosted under this deal include the manufacturing sector, which has been placed at the centre of the Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS 2).

The road to prosperity is not an easy one, but the perils of the journey are reduced when groundbreaking undertakings such as the Facebook deal are not left to slip through the fingers.

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