MW govt calls for industry inclusion in science technology and innovation initiatives

Countries that have priotised STI are marching forward with economic development citing Ghana and Ethiopia as examples in Africa.

Government has urged scientists, researchers and research institutions to consider involving the private sector and specifically the industry in their initiatives meant to promote science technology and innovation.

The Minister of Education, Hon. Agnes NyaLonje was speaking on Wednesday in Lilongwe during the opening of a three day consultative meeting on enhancing the domestication of Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA 2024) organized by New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD).

She said the industry needs science, technology and innovations that are done within universities and other scientific institutions saying it is only through this that research can be meaningful and addressing day to day challenges.

“It stands to reason that when we are discussing strategies to do with science technology and innovation as well as domestication of the STISA 2024, we need people from the industry to be present because only then we will be able to fashion what we do to the needs of the industry.  It is when science meets industry, when technology meets industry, when innovation meets industry that we are going to prosper as a country because we will be sure that our industry is driven by science technology and innovation,” she said.

The minister said that there is ample evidence globally which shows that countries that have priotised STI are marching forward with economic development citing Ghana and Ethiopia as examples in Africa.

She further said the government of Malawi in its mission to promote science technology and innovation established a Directorate of Science, Technology and Innovation to work with and help empower the National Commission of Science and technology to realise national educational science technology and innovation potential.

“This must include a review of Malawi’s national curriculum to ensure the appropriate inclusion of science technology and innovation teaching that should impact all education sub-sectors (early childhood development and education, basic, secondary, technical and higher education) and feed into industrial and national development,” she said.

Complementing the Minister, Acting Coordinator of AU High Level Panel on Emerging Technologies Dr Justina Dugbazah said there is need for African economies to move from resource based to knowledge and Innovation based saying developed economies are focusing on science technology and innovation which is being developed into knowledge product.

“So for their export is not only resources but also the knowledge they have and the expertise they have. This is what underpins development to have a very balanced social economic development. When you look at Africa on the other hand we are lagging behind in science technology and innovation as well as our industries,” she said.

She said African industries are still resource based and that almost all the exports are primary exports saying   there is need to strength knowledge and capacity of Africans so that they should be in position to provide technical expertise pertaining to the continent to those who are outside hence this will be exportation of knowledge.

She further said her organisation is having consultative meetings with policy  and decision makers, scientists , researchers, youth and all relevant stakeholders to deliberate on the challenges that are contributing to the slow implementation of STISA  and also to propose solutions for enhancing its implementation and to discuss on the next steps forward.

The initiative complements the mission of the Committee of Ten African Heads of State and Governments (C10) in promoting science, technology and innovation whose first meeting was hosted by Malawi in 2018 as spearheaded by Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM) and the Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (LUANAR)

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