Uganda hosts technology transfer dialogue

Uganda has many biological resources, such as this sweet smelling cannonball flower, which is used in perfumes

How can Uganda’s advances in science and technology be harnessed to boost the local economy and wellbeing? This is the question that will be debated as national and international experts descend on the northern town of Gulu for a two-day science policy dialogue tomorrow and Friday (23-24 September).

The meeting, hosted by the Ugandan National Council for Science and Technology (UNCST) concludes Uganda’s fourth ‘Science Week’ – a showcase of national scientific expertise and a platform for discussion about the use of technology in everyday life.

Uganda needs tech transfer. The liberalisation of the country’s economy since the 1990s has resulted in many international companies setting up shop in the land-locked country. This kick-started economic growth after decades of political turmoil.

But the country’s president, Yoweri Museveni, wants to see more local companies thrive, in particular small- and medium sized companies run by entrepreneurial Ugandans. In a development plan for the country, published in April, the government sets out an ambition to boost innovation and technology transfer.

The Gulu meeting will discuss the implementation of this plan. But there are other considerations: What will happen to Ugandan science funding when the money from its World Bank Millennium Science Initiative (MSI) loan runs out next year? Will Uganda’s government pass a law to regulate the growing and selling of genetically modified produce in the country?

Watch this space.

Linda Nordling, SciDev.Net columnist

One Response to Uganda hosts technology transfer dialogue

  1. Maxwell Otim says:

    Indeed the National Science Week provided an excellent opportunity for Uganda as whole to reflect on the pivotal role science and technology play in the national socio-economic transformation. That Linda Nordling was able to capture most of the proceedings from Gulu is commendable.
    I would like to add that the week closed on Friday 24 Sept 2010 in Gulu with a two-day policy dialogue that was attended by over 80 local and international participants. The policy dialogue provided a platform for scientists, policy makers, academics and entrepreneurs to have a serious discourse in Science and technology.
    The participants came up with a number of recommendations and the way forward to improve the different aspects of science and technology in Uganda

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