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NCST Awarded best Female researchers


The National Council for Science and Technology and the Next Einstein Forum (NEF) jointly organized and hosted a ‘Women in Science Award’ as one of a series of events to mark the Africa Science Week.

Three categories of women and girls were honored at the event: The first category of awards was for trailblazers or high achievers who have made significant contributions in their areas of expertise in STEM fields in Rwanda. The second category was for best performing girls in 2017 National examination, and the third category was rewarded winners of an essay competition on “Redefining the classroom to make science cool”.

The Rwanda Women in STEM awardees were: Dr. Agnes Binagwaho (Researcher award), Ms. Crystal Rugege (Senior Leadership award) and two rising STEM stars, Ms. Fauste Ndikumana (Research on Climate) and Ms. Alice Umuhoza (Research on cancer in women).

In celebrating Women in Science, NCST and NEF aimed to not only acknowledge and award exemplary female Rwandan scientists, but also, provided a platform to excite female scholars and researchers to broaden their horizon in STI as well as encourage them to embrace the responsibility for Rwanda’s future scientific and technological advances.

These two objectives reaffirmed the Government of Rwanda’s recognition of the role STI plays in our livelihood, advancing knowledge and addressing societal challenges. It also expresses the government’s commitment to advancing Women in order to fulfill the nation’s potential through harnessing STI towards national development as underscored in the Vision 2020 and National Strategy for Transformation (NST).

Rwanda continues to experience shortage of skills and expertise in various disciplines. Since women form a significant labour potential, tapping into their capabilities can serve to address this shortcoming. Therefore, such a themed topic “Women in Science” was timely and relevant considering both the trends in supporting women in Rwanda, and the presence of policy makers, academicians and young women in attendance.

Amid the significant strides and progress made in advancing Women in various national aspects, we were also reminded of the prevalent gender gap in Science. Women are still under-represented in research and technology area. For instance, a recent survey by NCST on Research and Development, shows that female researchers account for less than 30% of the overall total researchers. It is therefore essential that various stakeholders come together to forge a positive trend to increase Women participation in Science and Technology.

In his remarks, the Executive Secretary of NCST reiterated that, as stakeholders, we collectively have an inherent mandate of promoting Science and Technology disciplines, as well as demystifying the prevalent misconceptions that sciences are difficult and reserved only for men or boys for that matter. Indeed, the success of Women like the ones that were awarded should ideally have a snowball effect to encourage younger women at all levels of education to aspire to be scientists.

He concluded by appreciating the partnership with NEF, thanked all those present and encouraged them to take the celebration of Science and Technology beyond this week by further supporting initiatives aimed at progressing Women in Science.

Awarding Women in Science is one of the vehicles NCST will continue to champion with a broad perspective of progressing Science and Technology.


About NCST

Our core mission is to provide strategic advices and recommendations to the Government on all matters relating to policies, legislation and regulation in the fields of science, technology, research and innovation and monitor the implementation of such policies and legislation. It also mandated to mobilise the National Research and Innovation Fund to facilitate Researchers and Innovators

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National Council for Science and Technology (NCST)
13th Floor, Grand Pension Plaza
KN 2 Avenue, Nyarugenge - Kigali - Rwanda
P.O. Box 2285 Kigali
Phone: +250781030798