By Ismael Kasooha
The Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Nabbanja Robinah has reiterated the government’s commitment to support science and innovations to spur development in the country.
Nabbanja pledged the government’s full support towards science and innovation, saying it aligns well with the National Resistance Movement (NRM) party’s manifesto, which she said highlights ‘Securing the country’s future.”
“I congratulate the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) for having put together such a great exhibition that showcases what the country has done and is still doing to use science, technology and innovation to solve the problems facing our people and promoting prosperity. I have been impressed with what I have seen exhibited here and clearly, it demonstrates the huge opportunities and potential that exists in the use of science, technology and innovation,” said Nabbanja.
Hon. Dr. Musenero (left) and Rt. Hon. Robinah Nabbanja inspecting installs at the Science Week Exhibition
Nabbanja was on Tuesday speaking during the launch of the four-day science and technology exhibition at Kololo grounds in Kampala.
The event, which started on Monday, November 8, 2022, aimed at exhibiting innovations and refocus the country’s potential to create opportunities and realize innovation.
“This is the second time Uganda is holding an exhibition, especially on science and I call on the public to visit the exhibition venue and experience the scientific innovations,” Nabbanja added.
The event, which is running under the theme: “Uganda in 2040: The Future We Want Through Science and Innovation” was organized by the Science, Technology, and Innovation Ministry under Dr. Monica Musenero.
Nabbanja said that the country has a task to ensure that the innovations are rolled out, popularized and brought to serve the people.
“Science, technology and innovation are responsible for almost everything around us. Everything we buy and sell is a result of these three elements.
H.E. President Yoweri Museveni and the NRM Government continue to prioritize investment in science, technology and innovation as one of the key drivers for the development and transformation of our country,” said Nabbanja.
The premier said that the NRM Manifesto, 2021 – 2026, whose theme is “Securing Your Future” places a strong focus on using Science, Technology, Engineering and Innovation (STEI) to transform the country.
It is the same Science and Technology and innovation that will enable us to achieve our Vision 2040 and meet the Sustainable Development Goals.
She assured the innovators that the government will continue creating an enabling environment for innovators, and strengthening our capacity to make use of innovations to serve our people.
“We will also continue championing adoption of a multi-sectoral approach to the sector, earmark funding to research institutions and establishment of Technology Business Incubators. Already as you know, Government has prioritized enhancement of pay for scientists because of the critical role they play in the country,” noted Nabbanja.
She said that it was good that a number of tangible results had already been realized.
Prime Minister Rt. Hon. Nabbanja Robinah (Centre) inspecting stalls during the Science and Innovation week at Kololo
“Kiira Motors Corporation is manufacturing electric buses and is leading our efforts in the transition to E-Mobility. The development of vaccines is already underway. This should give us self-sufficiency and reduce our dependency on foreign sources like we witnessed during COVID-19 pandemic,” said Nabbanja.
Dr. Monica Musenero, the Minister of Science Technology and Innovation in the Office of the President said the Science Week focused on mobility innovations, especially for the public transport sector, where electric vehicles and motorbikes were being made for mass transport, not only to address pollution but also traffic congestion.
“We want to reduce pollution by introducing safe and exquisite mass transport means.” We will be moving first with buses and later we shall put in place prototypes for SUVs and saloon cars. Many say Uganda is simply assembling, but that is not true. We are manufacturing, and
assembly is just a small component of the process, but also essential,” she said.
Musenero added that the exhibition was further focusing on aeronautics and space science; pathogen economy, which deals with the country’s ability to develop health interventions in vaccines and drugs for humans, plants, and animals and diagnostics; and industry 4.0+, which is expected make Uganda a digital manufacturer of both software and hardware.
“The government is cognizant of the need to invest in research and innovation for sustainable socio-economic transformation,” noted Musenero.
Several projects have been undertaken, including research and development in vaccines, diagnostics, therapeutics, and the manufacture of both clean diesel engines and electric buses, she added.
“It is worth noting that the construction of Uganda’s first satellite, which was launched on Monday, November 7, 2022, will facilitate the adoption and local manufacturing of Industry 4.0+ technologies, as well as the development of skilling and component manufacturing centers, among other things,” Musenero added.
The Minister said the government intends to create awareness of value addition resulting from science, technology, and innovation, foster strategic partnerships with various stakeholders, including the public and private sectors; and increase the market potential of indigenous products in the region and globally to enhance Uganda’s competitiveness both within the region and globally.