The Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI) Secretariat unveiled the third edition of the National Science Week a hallmark event on Uganda’s calendar that celebrates the country’s realms of Science, Technology, and Innovation.
The theme for the National Science Week 2023, “Uganda Tusimbudde: Our Science-Led Journey Towards Socio-Economic Transformation,” marks a significant shift, introducing a week-long vehicle that will provide participants with an immersive experience of Uganda’s remarkable science-led transformation journey.
The event will be officially inaugurated by H.E. President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni who will also double as the guest of honor.
Scheduled to happen from the 6 to 11 November, the week promises a wide array of engaging activities, including; regional exhibitions, a dedicated press day, interactions with academia and students, insightful roundtable discussions, and an investor forum tailored to addressing the financial challenges faced by early-stage ventures and innovators in the country.
The event will also serve as a platform to honor Uganda’s exceptional science entrepreneurs and innovators who have made significant contributions to Uganda’s progress.
Hon. Dr. Monica Musenero Masanza, the Minister for Science, Technology & Innovation, while addressing the media at the launch highlighted the Secretariat’s strategic commitment to eight core thematic areas driving a Science-led economic transformation. These encompass Pathogen Economy, Mobility, Industry 4.0+, Export-Targeted STI, Import Substitution, Infrastructure Innovation, Productivity Acceleration, and Aeronautics & Space.
“Our core thematic areas include the utilization of Artificial Intelligence to bolster industry and production, pioneering advancements in vaccine and drug development through pathogen research, venturing into space and aeronautics exploration, and propelling technological innovations aimed at optimizing transport and mobility,” said Musenero.
These thematic areas are representational of the Secretariat’s work, not only to serve as the cornerstone of the upcoming National Science Week 2023 but also set the stage for Uganda’s transition from the brink of innovation to the realization of transformative innovative solutions poised to reshape the nation’s economic landscape, particularly in response to the youthful demographics.
“As of July 2023, Uganda was characterized by an average age of 16.3 years, indicative of a generation raised in an era of technological diversity and drastic progress. As a Secretariat under the Office of the President, we are strategically aligning our efforts to meet the unique needs of this expanding demographic by championing innovations tailored to their requirements,” Musenero reaffirmed.
According to a survey conducted by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Uganda advanced to 119th out of 132 countries in the Global Innovation Index for the year 2022. This upward trend underscores Uganda’s unwavering dedication to advancing science and technology, signifying substantial advancements in this field.
In her closing remarks, Musenero affirmed Science, Technology, and Innovation as the driving force to economic transformation. “We are confident that the government’s strategic focus in this area is already beginning to yield results, paving the way for Uganda to compete on a global scale.”
Musenero noted that the government’s primary objective is to export technology and break free from the dependency on imported science, technology, and innovation products that have dominated for decades.