The Prime Minister of Uganda, DR Ruhakana Rugunda has said government will increase funding dedicated to innovation and technology to stimulate sustainable social economic growth and transformation.
Speaking Wednesday at the inaugural retreat for the Science, Technology and Innovation sector, the prime minister said government as part of its vision 2040 had identified science, technology and innovation as key elements that can help in developing different economic sectors like agriculture, tourism, health and finance hence the need to increase its funding.
“The government is putting in place initiatives that are geared towards enhancing and facilitating ICT and innovations because they are crucial for social economic development,” said Rugunda.
“We are going to give benefits to scientists especially those who work in remote areas and also increase sponsorship for science students in private and government universities as well as tertiary institutions,” he added.
Rugunda further government will recruit 67 science teachers in the next 4 months as well as other officials to work in research.
Speaking at the same function, the minister for MoSTI, Dr Ellioda Tumwesigye said as a newly formed Ministry, they were still facing structural and financial challenges.
He, however said the ministry remained dedicated to make policies that will help young innovators achieve their dreams.
“We are going to establish training innovation centers/ training hubs for young innovators in different parts of the country to give them the needed knowledge and skill to go on with their work,” said Tumwesigye.
“We are working with government and other development partners to collect a big fund that will be put in Uganda development bank specifically for innovators so that they can access capital at a low interest rate. Where it is necessary we are ready to give grants as long as the innovation is developmental to the economy,” he added.
The 3-day retreat taking place at the Uganda Institute Research Institute in Nakawa was intended to evaluate the work of the new ministry and mediate on how the Ministry can work better for the good of the people.
MoSTI was formed in 2016 after separating it from the Ministry of education to provide better coordination of STI efforts in the country, build effective linkages with all actors and provide clear policy direction and supervision.