RWANDAN president, Paul Kagame, took to the podium at the largest scientific gathering in African history – the Next Einstein Forum – to voice his concerns over the continent’s huge deficit of science and technology professionals.
“Africa was largely bypassed by the last three industrial revolutions” he said. “The pressure is on to catch up and keep pace so Africa is not left in the wake of technological progress.”
One of the most promising ways to keep pace is interesting African students into studying science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects, which together with research anchor much-needed innovation.
Sadly, the reality of the vast majority of classrooms in Africa today is that they are not conducive to fostering such interest. Many teachers struggle to spark the creative juices of young students, leaving the learners with the perception that maths and science are complex and difficult topics. This hampers invention—the greatest scientists are all individuals who perpetually ask the question “what if” as they make their great discoveries.
But one young Senegalese scientist is trying to change this, using the very same tools he hopes that African students will one day aspire to make…and take them to the next level: robots.