Monday, August 21, 2006

UNESCO promotes Science and Technology Policy in Africa

Much of the following posting is excerpted from an article published by the Swazi Observer, 08/17/2006

Dr. Joe Mugabe spoke during the one-day seminar and intervened to sensitize the public on the need for a Science and Technology Policy in Africa. The event was hosted by the University of Swaziland (UNISWA) on Wednesday August 16th, 2006.

"The Swazi Minister of Education, Constance Simelane, emphasized the role of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) in the attainment of sustainable development goals and other related initiatives that require renewed political and financial commitments to the development and application of Science and Technology at national, regional and continental levels.

"Speaking during the seminar UNISWA vice-chancellor Professor Cisco Magagula challenged universities and research institutes to take the lead in creating, disseminating and promoting the application of science and technological knowledge. He said it was disappointing to note that Africa, despite the fact that it continues to be the least developed continent, continues to lose the little expertise it has.

"The Commission for Africa reports that there are more African students and engineers working in the United States than there are in Africa. This led to the Commission for Africa recommending major investment in improving Africa's capacity, starting with the systems of higher education, especially science and technology.

"Magagula said in recognition of the crucial role played by science and technology in development, UNISWA had introduced a number of science and technology-related centres of escellence with the aim of satisfying national aspirations. The centres include the Information and Communication Technology, the Swaziland Institute of Research in Traditional Medicine, Medicinal and Indigenous Food Plants, the Health Information and Counselling Centre and the University Research Centre."

Americans for UNESCO is informed by UNESCO Windhoek that UNESCO funded the seminar and subcontracted the Swaziland National Commission for UNESCO to organize this initial stakeholders’ meeting regarding the establishment of a S&T Policy for the country. The meeting is the first step towards drafting a S&T Policy for Swaziland. Its proceedings from the meeting are due in late September and will be posted on the UNESCO Windhoek Office website.

Dr. John Mugabe, the facilitator of such a meeting, is leading NEPAD’s science and technology department and is considered an authority on science and technology policy in Africa.

No comments: