“Research Projects Supported Through NSTC”
Higher Education Permanent Secretary Kayula Siame encouraged collaborative research activities and reminded researchers that no country can develop without research. Mrs Siame said the science symposium platform was critical as it helped to build required capacity in undertaking research work – programs.
Mrs. Siame was speaking at a symposium in Lusaka (23/11/20) at the 2020 Science and Technology Awards.
PS Siame told the meeting that Ministry was supporting such research engagements and encouraging cross sector science and research collaborations into the country hence the 5 awards being witnessed today
Mrs. Siame was grateful and knows that through the symposium the youths, secondary school students, who are engaged to input on various science and research activities will result in innovative minds for the science future and build on curiosity in them to take keen interest in defining challenges and further pursuing research activities.
The 2020 Science and Technology Awards went to Zambart. Under the Female Scientist Category – Dr. Maureen Wakwamba Ziba received the award representing the Central Veterinary Research Institute, other awards includes Male Scientists Category that went to Professor Fastone Mathew Goma from Eden University, Young Scientists Award was scooped by grade 10 Steven Lungu from David Kaunda National STEM School, and Up Coming Researcher went to Mwaba Kaunda a grade 10 female pupil from Kabulonga Girls Secondary School with her titled science project ‘Affordable and Clean Energy’, and the Print Media awards went to Jowit Saluseki and Benedict Tembo of the Times of Zambia, and Daily Mail papers.
Mrs. Siame disclosed that the Ministry through National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) provided a Strategic Fund to the COVID – 19 research activities towards combating the pandemic virus in Zambia and through research promote generation of critical knowledge and solutions that will help in the prevention and containment of the current outbreak hence preventing the pandemic among the local population.
Mrs. Siame disclosed that the call to the Research attracted 57 applications of which 14 proposals emerged successful and after the strict vetting process 5 were successfully awarded.
Mrs. Siame outlined the awarded Covid – 19 research projects that included, model of spread of Covid – 19, Impact of social cultural dynamics such as movement of people, social networks, human settlement and livelihoods, identification of potentially infectious asymptomatic subjects of Covid – 19, and Development of Covid – 19 Prevention among others.
Mrs. Siame said the Ministry has supported the researchers with a the Strategic Research Fund (SRF) aimed at enhancing research capacity in Zambia and the Science and Technology Innovation Youth Fund (STIYF) aligned with an objective to assist Zambian youths to develop Scientific and/or Technological Innovations that are relevant to the creation of wealth and employment.
PS Siame called on researchers to be proactive and provide for scientific solutions that can be helpful towards policy direction. She equally encouraged them to be effective and efficiency in order to find solutions that will help the country through local but also region – collaborations.
Mrs. Siame believed research is not only for one sector but broad therefore as implemented onwards during the ‘findings process’, it critically helps build on what previously occurred and eventually providing an onward successful research platform.
In her closing remarks Mrs. Siame encouraged researchers to continue and collaborate with other researchers in order to appreciate what is diversely researched across.
And speaking at the same function National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) Acting Executive Sectary Filipo Zulu said today NSTC is celebrating Science emanating from a number of local science events undertaken through networking and leveraged resources.
Mr. Zulu said NSTC will continue to create linkages, partnerships and leverage resources in order to promote science and research activities.
Mr. Zulu disclosed that the the Germany Foundation has leveraged huge sums of euros into key science interventions and consequently yielding practicability of research programs being undertaken.
Chanda Muwowo – Public Relations Officer – MoHE