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February 25, 2014 | By Ivan Ngoboka of The New Times.

RWANDA – Institutions of higher learning in the country have been challenged to be at the forefront of devising home-based solutions to local problems.

The call was made yesterday by Sharon Haba, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Education, while opening a half-day information sharing workshop organised by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), an advocacy under the United Nations.

SDSN works to build on the success of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to finish the job of ending extreme poverty through partnership with Universities and other knowledge institutions around the world.

“This network should inspire you to come out with works and products that offer solutions to our societies,” Haba said.

She expressed optimism that the network (SDSN) will help the country achieve its national development targets spelt out under the second Economic Development and Poverty Reduction Strategy (EDPRS2) agenda and Vision 2020.

“The initiation of this network is timely as debates are advancing on post 2015, the year of wrapping up the MDGs campaign,” Haba pointed out.

She also expressed optimism that the initiative will play a crucial role in poverty eradication.

“More initiatives seeking solutions to poverty and sustainable development are welcome,” the PS added.

Eve de la Mothe Karoubi, SDSN manager, speaking at the event (Photo credit: University of Rwanda)

Eve de la Mothe Karoubi, SDSN manager, speaking at the event (Photo credit: University of Rwanda)

Eve de la Mothe Karoubi, the SDSN manager, pointed out that the initiative works with a network of universities, research centres, and other knowledge institutions to promote solutions initiatives, and contribute to setting the post-2015 agenda .

“A lot was achieved in sectors like health, educations as far as MDG’s are concerned, but areas like environment were not given much attention. So one of our objectives is to build on what would be left incomplete.”

She added that the initiative champions economic development, social inclusion, environmental sustainability, and good governance.

SDSN has a presence in about 40 countries around the world.

This article originally appeared in The New Times.