INAUGURAL MEETING OF THE RESEARCH COORDINATION COMMITTEE

On June 12th, 2020, the Executive Secretary (ES) of NCST - Dr Eugene Mutimura- officiated over an inaugural meeting for the Research Coordination Committee (RCC), which took place in the premises of the National Council for Science and Technology (NCST).

In his opening remarks, the Executive Secretary (ES) of NCST - Dr Eugene Mutimura, welcomed and thanked the Committee members from the various institutions for accepting the appointment and responsibility to support shared efforts to improve research through mutual collaboration through coordinated planning, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation of research output in Rwanda.

The establishment of the RCC was recommended by the NCST Council as a high-level research coordination forum that will leverage and consolidate efforts across various stakeholders in the research ecosystem with an aim of supporting and complimenting the Government’s drive towards strengthening the role of scientific research and technology innovation in national development, especially in line with the National Strategy for Transformation.

The Executive Secretary highlighted some of the overarching challenges that have affected the performance and productivity of the research system in Rwanda as observed in the National Research and Development Survey (2018) as well as international comparative reports like the Global Innovation Index (2019). Of note the ES mentioned challenges including poor coordination and planning that results in scattered efforts and duplication of activities, low research productivity, low research capacity, suboptimal use of research infrastructure, lack of research funds, as well as weak linkages between academia and industry.

Beyond addressing challenges, Dr Mutimura noted that the RCC will also provide a platform for joint STI planning and coordination, knowledge and data sharing, as well as deriving strategic initiatives that cut-across a number of sectors and broad areas of mutual interest through improved usage and coordination of available (shared) resources, strengthening overall research capacity (human, infrastructure and financial), and ultimately elevating research productivity.

In terms of operationalizing the RCC, the host noted that care was taken not to overburden the members from various institutions - NCST will serve as the Secretariat and also provided the Chairman of the RCC, Mr. Kalisa Felly. As per the terms of reference, the RCC will convene four times a year (ordinarily) to discuss specific themes, and NCST will cater for the logistics and administrative incentives.

The RCC members welcomed the initiative as timely and necessary especially considering the broad nature and spectrum of stakeholders within the national research ecosystem. They committed to champion the cause within their respective institutions, in addition to exploring communal opportunities that leverage brand “Rwanda” towards advancing research (quality and quantity) in the country, which in turn will position Rwanda as a competent destination for international research.

In concluding the event, the ES reiterated that RCC recommendations have the capacity to influence change within the national research system when appropriately packaged and tabled to the authorities both through the NCST Council and the respective sector institutions. He thanked the members and wished them success in their duties as members of the RCC.


Research Coordination Committee (RCC) Members

END

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