The Minister of Higher Education Professor Nkandu Luo, has said it is of utmost importance that Zambia builds a critical mass of qualified Scientists and Engineers with PhD, MSc and BSc, including technicians and Artisans. Such a move will greatly contribute to Enhancing the role of STI in key sectors.
She said this during the High Level roundtable on the role of Science, Technology and Innovation in empowering people and ensuring inclusiveness and equality at the ongoing Twenty-Second Session on the Commission on Science and Technology for Development, in Geneva, Switzerland.
Professor Luo, said the Government of Zambia recognizes the contribution Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) makes to Economic Development of any country and as such must be at the center of analysis.
“Zambia believes that Science, Technology and Innovation will contribute greatly to the attainment of Zambia’s Vision 2030 of “becoming a prosperous middle-income country by the year 2030.” She said.
For the period 2017- 2021, Zambia has aligned its national policies to the seventh national development plan (7ndp). The 7th NDP is primarily Zambia’s investment plan which contains quantifiable programmes to inform sector planning and budgeting processes.
She said with the foregoing it was important to note that the need for nations to prioritize Science, Technology and Innovation for socio-economic development and building resilient communities, cannot be overemphasized.
Zambia therefore, has linked Science, Technology and Innovation as a key to its development agenda to the following sectors: Health, Agriculture, Energy, Mining, Manufacturing, Industrialization, Tourism, Information and Technology and as such in order for Zambia to get the benefits, value add and development of the highlighted key sectors, science, technology and innovation, it has focused on the following:
Development of Technology, Innovation and Skills Policy, introduction of Technical schools and Universities that focus on Science and Mathematics, curriculum review that focuses on, apprenticeship and industrial attachments and improved linkages between Government, Private sector, Industry and Academia.
Others include improving the infrastructure, equipment and laboratory facilities for research and development. The Zambian Government has also decided to expose young people to skills training from primary and secondary schools.
The Minister is accompanied by Chief Science and Technology Officer Mr John Chongo and Chief Skills Development Officer, Mrs Precious Munaile.