World Science Day for peace and development was initiated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). This was in a bid to recognize and promote science and technology’s role in the advancement of societies since 1945. Since 2002, the day is celebrated globally on the 10th of November
Uganda held her science week celebrations from 6th – 10 November 2022, running under the theme “Uganda 2040; the future we want through Science, Technology, and Innovation”, at Kololo ceremonial grounds. The Ministry of Science and Technology spearheaded the event and aims to showcase how Uganda can achieve prosperity by focusing on and enabling Science Technology and Innovation (STI).
In recognition of World Science Day, the government of Uganda through the National Development Plan 111(NDP11), the National Science, technology and innovation policy 2020, the fourth industrial revolution strategy for Uganda, and the National Resistance Movement strategy 2021-2026 recognizes that science technology and innovation are vital drivers for social economic development and transformation.
Her excellency the vice president of Uganda Jessica Alupo who represented President Museveni, officially opened the event and said, Government recognized the role of science and technology in improving the welfare of Ugandans. She then went ahead to congratulate the Ugandan scientists for making history by launching into international space, her first satellite Pearl Africa Sat. this satellite was made by three young Ugandan scientists and engineers with funding from the Government of Uganda and launched by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) on the 7th of November 2022.
The Prime Minister of Uganda Hon Robina Nabanjja too congratulated the Team at MoSTI for the great work and the launch of Uganda’s first satellite into space and hoped to see all the innovations displayed scaled out and popularized to serve Ugandans.
While speaking at the event, Minister for Science, Technology, and Innovation (MoSTI), Dr. Monica Musenero highlighted that “The government is cognizant of the need to invest in research and innovation for sustainable socio-economic transformation. Several projects have been undertaken including research and development in vaccines, diagnostics, and therapeutics, manufacture of both clean diesel engine and electric buses, construction of Uganda’s first satellite, facilitating the adoption and local manufacturing of Industry 4.0+ technologies sector, construction of skilling and component manufacturing centers among others.”
The event was celebrated under four themes; Priority bureaus in brief, industry 4.0+, Pathogen economy, mobility (aeronautics and space science, and infrastructure innovations bureaus), and import substitution (Including production acceleration and export targeted bureaus). NARO participated in the import substitution category. This category coordinates and facilitates research development technology transfer and commercialization of innovations. The larger part of the import substitution bureau is to promote the domestic production of goods and services with top-end dependence on the importation of goods through value addition.
Eight of the NARO Research Institutes notably, the National Crops Resources Research Institute (NaCRRI), National Agricultural Research Laboratories (NARL), National Fisheries Resources Research Institute (NaFIRRI), National Forestry Research Institute (NaFORI), National Livestock Resources Research Institute (NaLIRRI), National Coffee Research Institute (NaCORI), Bunginyanya zonal Agricultural and Research Development Institute (BugiZARDI) and Mukono Zonal Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MuZARDI). showcased technologies towards accelerating production. Dr. Titus Alicai represented NARO during a panel discussion at the event.
The closing ceremony was by PSST Ngobi Ramathan who gave a keynote address on the permanent secretary and secretary of treasury Mr. Ramathan Ggoobi applauded NARO for the tremendous contribution towards science and technology.