Tanzania government has in total injected a tune of Sh30billion into science, technology, researches, and innovations.
Speaking during the 6th Annual Science, Technology and Innovation Conference and Exhibition the Minister for Education, Science, and Technology, Professor Joyce Ndalichako, said the injected amount includes all money disbursed by the into universities and research institutions undertaking researches and all issues related to science, technology, and innovation.
She, however, urged research institutions to write project proposals in order to get funds that will help them run their intended projects and researches. She said as the theme of the conference states: ‘’Towards industrialization:
The role of science, technology, and innovation’’, the theme is in line with the second five-year development plan, which also puts a special emphasis on industrialization as a driver of economic development.
She further noted that the role of science, technology, and innovation in realizing the country’s goal of having an industrialized country was inevitable.
Prof Ndalichako further retaliated that the Second Five- Year Development Plan acknowledges that reaching advanced levels of inclusive and sustainable industrial development requires conscious efforts to sustain growth, promote social inclusiveness and move towards a greener structural transformation, as well as managing the trade-offs between them.
“This can be attained only with accumulation of internal sciences, technology and innovation capabilities. Adding: The industrial economy we are aspiring to attain…depends very much on the contribution of science, technology and innovation capacity and capability available among human resources and the knowledge and skills required to produce products and services.”
According to Prof Ndalichako, to ensure that industrialization is well embraced and nursed, the Fifth Phase government is committed at strengthening the country’s research and innovation ecosystem so that research results can be used to guide the country in making evidence-based decisions to improve lives of Tanzanians.
Following that, the government, through the Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology (COSTECH), disbursed Tsh 3.2 billion to support eight projects for research infrastructure development and rehabilitation in Tanzania Mainland.
Furthermore, she said that in collaboration with the Zanzibar Planning Commission … COSTECH also released Sh960 million to support eight projects aiming at finding solutions for specific problems in Zanzibar in the areas of sustainable tourism, agribusiness and aquaculture and non-communicable diseases.
The government, through COSTECH, has always ensured that researches and local innovators benefit from their innovations. “On behalf of the government, I would like to affirm the commitment of the government to supporting research and innovation.
I would like to assure you that the government recognizes your contribution to science, technology, and innovation.”
Mr. Ndalichako, apart from commending the cordial support from development partners, she said that the government will continue to support the use of science, technology, and innovation in order to promote industrialization and competitiveness by allocating sufficient funds as a means to reach middle-income economy, by 2025.
According to her in this financial year (2018/19), the government has allocated a tune of Tsh8 billion to support research activities. She has urged COSTECH to utilize the funds for the intended purposes and ensure the research outputs reach targeted individuals or institutions.
“I would like to remind you to that the government uses a lot of taxpayers’ money as well as donor funds to fund research activities. Let me call upon you to focus your research undertakings in providing solutions to societal problems and make an impact at the grassroots. For that reason, you have a pivotal role in supporting the country to attain industrialization dream,” he explained.
For his part, COSTECH’S Acting Director-General Dr. Amos Nungu said that the event programme was in line with the Fifth Phase Government development agenda.
“The three-day event programme that ended last Friday last week in Dar es Salaam is designed to inform, engage as well as get feedback from stakeholders; chatting the way forward together on how science, technology, and innovation can be a driver to the industrialization agenda.”
Dr. Nungu further retaliated that roundtable discussions engaged key stakeholders on topical issues relevant to industrialization agenda. And exhibitions and showcasing of various innovations had intended to share the various products and services developed in Tanzania.
He said that the paper presentations in parallel sessions provided an opportunity to researchers and scientists to disseminate their research outputs as well as receive feedback.
Dr. Nungu noted that commercialization of research and innovation products is another area where COSTECH is putting more emphasis. Other findings have indicated that Africa is faced by many challenges including economic and social challenges, thus making science, technology and innovation key to addressing these challenges.
Many African countries appropriate less than one percent of GDP for research and development. In 2007, the AU Heads of State and Government called for all Member States to allocate at least one percent of GDP to support research and development by 2010. But to date Member States have not reached this target.