In recent years, the global landscape has witnessed an unprecedented surge in the pivotal role of Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) in shaping the socio-economic destiny of nations. For Uganda, a nation with a growing focus on development and progress, these factors are emerging as the cornerstones of transformation.
At the forefront of this national drive towards advancement is Minister Dr. Monica Musenero, who unequivocally emphasizes that Uganda’s socio-economic transformation hinges on embracing STI. In her view, science and technology are inseparable from national economic development, echoing the global trend where strong economies are realigning their priorities to adapt to an ever-evolving landscape.
“Uganda cannot afford to remain a passive observer as global initiatives, primarily driven by our counterparts in the fields of science-led transformation shape the future that will determine our survival,” Minister Musenero asserted, underscoring the urgency of Uganda’s active participation in the global STI arena.
The Minister’s call to action came during the press launch of National Science Week 2023, held at the Science, Technology and Innovation Secretariat headquarters in Ntinda, a Kampala suburb. Scheduled for November 6 to 11, this year’s event will unfold at the Kololo Ceremonial Grounds and is anchored on the theme, “Uganda Tusimbudde: Our Science-led Journey Towards Socio-economic Transformation.”
Minister Musenero envisions National Science Week 2023 as an opportunity for participants from all walks of life to gain a hands-on understanding of Uganda’s remarkable progress in the realms of Science, Technology, and Innovation. It is her hope that Ugandans will grasp the profound impact these fields can have on the nation’s economic transformation, as Uganda assumes its role as the “Pearl of Africa.”
The thematic areas to be explored during the event will encompass diverse aspects of STI. Pathogen economy, a segment focused on pathogens and their utilization for human health, including drug and vaccine development, will be showcased. Pathogens, as defined, are organisms causing disease to their hosts, with the severity of the disease symptoms referred to as virulence.
Another spotlight will be on mobility, with an emphasis on the manufacturing of automobile products, and Kiira Motors will lead the way in providing innovative mobility solutions in the region. Import substitution is also on the agenda, aimed at enhancing the competitiveness of locally made products.
The exhibition will encompass infrastructure innovation, targeting breakthroughs in various sectors such as energy, railways, roads, airports, nanotechnology, minerals, materials, STI-linked communications, and industrial manufacturing, among others.
The event will commence with panel discussions focusing on domestic innovations in journalism and media. On the second day, President Yoweri Museveni is expected to officially inaugurate Science Week 2023. Subsequent days will be dedicated to engaging academic institutions, nurturing young scientists, and discussions on policy and synergy in science-led growth.
The Investors Engagement Day, happening on the fifth day, will feature discussions aimed at aligning Uganda as a prime investment destination, particularly in the fields of Science, Technology, and Innovation.
The final day of National Science Week 2023 will be a family day, dedicated to both traditional and modern families, to explore the wonders of Uganda’s innovations. The Minister highlighted the importance of guiding innovation at the family level, recognizing its significance in nurturing future innovators. The Prime Minister, Robinah Nabbanja, will conclude the event, leaving Uganda poised to further embrace science and technology as the drivers of socio-economic transformation.