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Science Technology and Innovation

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 Uganda  that is  its national system of innovation gives  the business entities  operatiing in Uganda  the competitive advantage when it comes to exports.

The level of scientific and technological advancement is also a factor in attracting investments into Uganda  as investors prefer to place their investments in countries which have attained  high levels of scientific  and  technological capabilities.
The Scientific  and Technological  progress of Uganda when  compared to Malaysia is 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 subjects.

The low level of productivity experienced in Uganda is therefore 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 are negatively  affecting efforts by the various players in the economy.

Information and Communication Technology Policy
The Objectives of the policy are as follows;

  • Create an enabling policy environment to foster STI and augment their contribution to national development.
  • Build the STI sector capacity to generate and transfer technology.
  • Establish and strengthen the legal and regulatory framework to ensure ethics and safety in STI development and application.

The stakeholders in science and technology whose interests, roles and responsibilities have to be considered include the following:

  • Central Government
  • SETIs
  • Local Government
  • Private Sector
  • NGOs and CBOs
  • Academia
  • Researchers
  • Science and Technology Professionals
  • Policy Makers and Implementers
  • Development Partners
  • Farmers
  • Artisans
  • Consumers of products of STI activities
  • General Public.

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