NEPAD-SGCI is going to train UNSCT personnel to better manage research.
KAMPALA - Business people and farmers are to benefit from research innovations from a US$14m (sh50b) New Partnership for Africa's Development- Science Granting Councils Initiative (NEPAD- SGCI).
The NEPAD-SGCI working with Uganda National Council for Science and Technology (UNSCT) is going to train UNSCT personnel to better manage research so that knowledge produced from research reach end users to generate valuable products for social and economical development.
Speaking during a NEPAD-SGCI Regional Training Workshop at Imperial Royale Hotel in Kampala Ismail Barugahara, the assistant executive secretary UNCST told the gathering that UNCST would use the initiative to train its staff in preparations for proposal calls, selections of grant winners, management of research processes. This would create better linkages between policy and practices for better research utilization and dissemination.
He added that the council was also going to create a platform where the private sector can access grants for innovations. Currently only public institutions like universities and research institutes can access UNSCT grants.
Dr Peter Ndemere the executive secretary, Uganda National Council for Science and Technology and guest of honour who represented Dr Elioda Tumwesigye the minister for science technology and innovation said UNSCT was going to employ the resources inform of competitive grants so that science and technology becomes the drivers for social development in Uganda.
Dr Tichaona Mangwende, the senior project manager, African Science and Technology Innovation Indicators, a NEPAD hub said the challenges of research capacity across the continent can be solved through strengthening of research councils.
He revealed that the aim of training the council was to help push the amount of money spent on research and development to 1% of the different country's GDP. Many including the leading South Africa spend less that the 1% Uganda is a minimal 0.4%.
The grant initiative is a brainchild of International Development Research Center (IDRC), National Research Foundation of South Africa and Department for International Development (DFID) and is currently running in 15 Africa countries including Uganda.
The others are Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda, Malawi, Zambia, Zimbabawe, Ivory Coast and Senegal.