By ABCafrica reporter
Prime Minister, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda while speaking at the inaugural retreat for the science, technology, and innovation sector last week; said government, as part of its Vision 2040, has identified ICT and Innovations sector as key in helping to develop different economic sectors like agriculture, tourism, health and finance.
The three-day retreat took place at the Uganda Industrial Research Institute, and was intended to evaluate the work of the new Ministry and mediate on how it can work better for the good of the people
“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. We are going to give benefits to scientists, especially those who work in remote areas. We are also going to increase sponsorship for science students in private and government universities as well as tertiary institutions,” he said.
Dr. Rugundu said the government will recruit 67 science teachers in the next four months as well as other officials to work in research.
Speaking at the same function, the Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation, Dr Elioda Tumwesigye said as a newly formed Ministry, they are still facing structural and financial challenges. He said however, his teams are dedicated to making policies that will help young innovators achieve their dreams as well as grow into more developed business people.
“We are going to establish training innovation centres or training hubs for young innovators in different parts of the country to give them the needed knowledge and skills to go on with their work,” Dr Tumwesigye said.
Dr. Tumwesigye further said; “We are working with government and other development partners to collect a big fund that will be put in the 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.”
The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga said; there is a strong need to start implementing the policies and laws that have been put in place to protect and facilitate the country’s innovators if the country is going to benefit from them.