Egypt has allocated 100 million LE to carry out innovative research to increase the productivity of wheat crops, to produce new varieties of rice and to increase production, said Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Khaled Abdel Ghaffar, at the Regional University Capacity Building Forum on Monday morning agriculture (RUFORUM), hosted virtually by Benin.
This was done through the Academy for Scientific Research and Technology.
The forum discussed the development of vocational education and the strengthening of the role of higher education, technology and innovation in transforming agriculture in Africa to address global food shortages and support sustainable economic development on the continent.
In his speech, Abdel Ghaffar highlighted the role of Egypt in the G10, which leads higher education and scientific research in Africa.
He referred to Egypt’s efforts to modernize its university and scientific research system, as the education budget was doubled to six percent of gross domestic product and the scientific research budget was doubled to more than one percent of gross domestic product.
The upgrading of higher education, scientific research and innovation is one of the most important challenges in the African continent that needs to be budgeted for, he said.
Abdel Ghaffar also reviewed efforts by the government and the Department of Higher Education to develop agricultural research to address the local nutrition gap and help bridge the global nutrition gap.
The ministry provided LE 33 million for innovative and creative research in fish production, the development of an ammonia injection system for agricultural land to improve productivity and the establishment of a seed bank.
Abdel Ghaffar stressed the importance of capitalizing on scientific research to maximize the fishing abundance on the African continent, as Africa has more than 30,000 km of beaches that can help to double its fish production and thus global demand to create job opportunities and economic growth for the African continent.
Egypt places great emphasis on this research, he said, referring to the collaboration between the government and the AUC Rural Economy and Agriculture Commission to create a regional center for aquaculture education and research by training generations of researchers who are in are able to develop Egypt’s fish wealth.
He also referred to Egypt’s interest in veterinary medicine and a doubling of livestock and poultry production.
Abdel Ghaffar also stressed the need to pay attention to climate change, one of the greatest challenges facing the world and the African continent in particular, as agriculture and food security are the two sectors most affected by climate change.
Egypt has therefore worked to genetically modify crops that can better adapt to climate change, he added.
Abdel Ghaffar referred to the need to strengthen the technical and vocational education environment on the African continent due to its leading role in the future of jobs and digitization, and stressed that the future job plan is not far from education, science, technology and innovation.
The education strategy in Egypt is based on vocational training and includes the creation of technology universities to fill the technical and vocational education gap to create future employment opportunities, he added.
At the end of his speech, Abdel Ghaffar expressed the willingness of Egypt to present its expertise to Africa in all areas, especially in higher education and in scientific research.
He expressed the hope that recommendations will be made at the conference that will help advance education and scientific research to achieve the goals of sustainable development in Africa.