Ambassador Gilmour’s Remarks at Robotics Camp Opening Monday, Aug. 20, 2018

Ambassador Gilmour Remarks
Robotics Camp Opening
Monday, Aug. 20, 2018

Madame the Minister of the Digital Economy
Monsieur the Director of ESIBA
Dear partners
Dear participants
Honored guests
Ladies and Gentlemen

It is a real pleasure to be with you this morning for this groundbreaking event, which I believe is the first of its kind in Togo.

Let me start by congratulating the organizers, the partners, and all the people who worked hard to make this event happen. I would like to also seize this opportunity to thank the Minister of the Digital Economy for being here, and for her unwavering commitment to promoting education in the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields.

Ladies and gentlemen, we are living in a time of unprecedented technological change. Stunning advances in robotics and artificial intelligence are being reported virtually on a daily basis. Whole industries are being revolutionized. In medicine, robots are conducting surgeries. In manufacturing, some factories are entirely run by robots. In the security sector, robot drones are increasingly providing surveillance, and in the agriculture sector robots are planting seeds and harvesting crops.

A world filled with robots used to be the stuff of science fiction. Today it is reality. In the years to come, more and more jobs will involve working alongside robots, programming robots, maintaining robots, and creating and customizing robots.

And this is happening not only in the U.S. or in Europe. Robots are everywhere. In Rwanda drones are delivering medicines to people in rural communities that doctors cannot reach. In the Democratic Republic of Congo robots are directing traffic at some of Kinshasa’s busiest intersections.

In short, there is hardly an aspect of our lives that the revolution in robotics has not touched or will not touch in the near future. As a result, we need to introduce coding and robotics to Togolese youth so that they can be the ones profiting from the immense potential of robotics.

This is the reason why the Embassy decided to organize a robotics camp.  Over the next several days, the participants in this camp will take on real-world engineering challenges by designing, building and programming robots to completesimple tasks.  In the process, they will acquire skills that are critical in the knowledge-based economy we are living in today. These skills include analysis, problem solving, creativity, networking and collaboration. The knowledge that they gain today through this camp will help them to create solutions to challenges facing Togo and create jobs for tomorrow.

I look forward to seeing the innovative robotic devices you will create, and I wish you all a productive and fun camp. Thank you.