Govt launches operationalization of Science and Technology Fund

Government has launched the operationalisation of the Science and Technology (ST) Fund, which is under the National Commission for Science and Technology (NCST).

The fund aims at achieving a science and technology-led development nation.

Speaking on Wednesday during the launch, which took place at Bingu International Convention Center (BICC) in Lilongwe, the Minister of Education, Agnes NyaLonje, said ST Fund will advance Science, Technology and Innovations (STI) for sustainable growth and development in the country.

Kaunda–The Fund had not been operational due to lack of financing–Photo by Steria Manda, Nyasa Times

NyaLonje said the fund will help the citizenry, especially the youths, to have an access to initiatives that will improve technological development of the country.

“The operationalisation of the ST fund will give citizens a chance to participate in STI which will advance technology in the country, claiming that a good number of people do not take part in STI due to lack of funds,” she said.

The minister appealed for continued support from different partners of the ST fund such as National Bank of Malawi, and Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS) among others for sustainable growth and development of STI in the country.

In his remarks, NCST Director General Professor Elijah Wanda underscored the need for enhancement of financial support towards STI if the country is to improve in science and technology.

Minister NyaLonje and other delegates listening to a presentation at the pavillion–Photo by Steria Manda, Nyasa Times

“Innovations in science and technology are engines of the 21st century economy; if you care about the wealthy and health of your nation tommorrow then you should rethink how you allocate taxes to fund science and the federal budget needs to recognize this,” said Wanda.

He added that the Government of Malawi recognizes that STI is indispensable in stimulating sustainable economic growth and development saying for instance the Malawi2063 recognizes STI as important enabler for attainment of its three pillars namely; agriculture productivity and commercialization, industrialization and urbanization.

On the other hand, NCST Board Chairperson of Commissioners, Professor Emmanuel Kaunda, applauded government’s commitment in advancing STI in the country.

Kaunda said for the first time, the government has operationalised the ST Fund appropriating K291 million in the 2021-2022 financial year.

He said since the inception of the Commission in 2010, the fund had not been operational due to lack of financing.

One of the representatives of the grantees Zack Mwale encouraged the citizenry especially the youths to take part in the advancement of STI, adding that the fund is granted to everyone who has skills in science and technology and Innovations.

NCST is a Science Granting Council in Malawi, and a fully subvented parastatal organization, which was established in 2010, under the Science and Technology Act Number 16 of 2003 and the ST fund was established through part VI (24) (1) of the Science and technology Act no 16 of 2003.

The ST Fund was launched under the theme: “Financing research science and technology and innovations towards Malawi2063.”

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