KAMPALA – The Science, Technology and Innovation Secretariat has on Wednesday launched the third edition of the National Science Week 2023 – taking place from the 6th to the 11th of November 2023 in which the country celebrates its realms of Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI).
Speaking at launch, Hon. Dr. Monica Musenero Masanza, the Minister for Science, Technology & Innovation, noted that during the week, they will offer participants from all walks of life, a hands-on understanding of the remarkable progress that Uganda has made in the fields of science, technology and innovation.
She highlighted the Secretariat’s strategic commitment to eight (8) 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.
“It is our hope that you fellow citizens will grasp the profound impact these fields can have on our economic transformation as the Pearl of Africa.”
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 our youthful demographics.
“As of July 2023, Uganda was characterized by 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. 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,” Dr. Musenero reaffirmed.
According to a survey conducted by the United Nations Development Programmed (UNDP), Uganda advanced to the 119th rank 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.
The National Science Week 2023 will serve as a pivotal platform, strategically designed to showcase the milestones Uganda has achieved in the domains of science, technology and innovation, not only on a national scale but also on the global stage. Building upon the successes of the previous two editions of the National Science Week and the innovative prowess exhibited therein, the Government of Uganda is setting up the National Science Technology Engineering and Innovations Center along Masaka Road. This specialized facility’s mission is to provide a home for Uganda’s innovations, offering the necessary support for these disruptive ideas to compete on a global scale.
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. It will be officially inaugurated by His Excellency Yoweri Kaguta Museveni who will double as the guest of honor, and 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 at addressing the financial challenges faced by early-stage ventures and innovators in the country.
The climax of the exhibition will be celebrated on Family Day, featuring captivating performances by talented artists and local entertainers. This day will also serve as a platform to honor Uganda’s exceptional science entrepreneurs and innovators who have made significant contributions to Uganda’s progress.
In her closing remarks, Dr. 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. Our primary objective is to export technology and break free from the dependency on imported Science, technology and innovation products that have dominated our previous decades.”