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Background

Uganda’s global competitive advantage will largely depend on advancement level the country has achieved in the area of science and technology. Advancement in science and technology refers to the capability of public and private sector entities to access, apply, adopt, adapt and deploy technical knowledge to gain competitive advantage. The scientific and technological capabilities of a country that it’s national system of innovation which gives export competitiveness to the business entities within the country.

The level of scientific and technological advancement is also a factor in attracting investments into a country as investors prefer to place their investments in countries which have attained scientific and technological capabilities.

Scientific and Technological progress of Uganda compared to Malaysia

The scientific and technological capacity of Uganda compared to Malaysia is summarised as follows:

Comparators

Uganda

Malaysia

Technology Achievement Index (TAI)

0.24

0.34

Share of expenditure on R&D as a percentage GDP

0.3%

0.63

Innovations

3 patent applications are submitted per year

over 6000 patents per year

Ratio of science graduates to Arts graduates

1:5

1:1.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

Uganda is investing only 0.3% of its GDP in research and development when compared with Malaysia which is investing 0.63% of its GDP. Developed and emerging industrialised countries spend between 2% and 3% of GDP.

For every 100 students, Malaysia gets about 67 science and technology graduates and Uganda gets only 20 science and technology graduates and the rest graduate in art related subjects.

The low level of productivity experienced in Uganda is partly due to limited application of Science Technology in the production processes and service delivery mechanisms. Uganda’s ambition to become a major player in the international market will therefore be limited by the country’s level of scientific and technological capacity.

In order to address the challenges referred to above, the Government of Uganda has created the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology, to specifically address the ICT issues which have an impact on the economic development of Uganda.

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