Harnessing science and innovation amongst the youth holds key to unlocking economic development challenges that Malawi faces, Program Manager at Malawi’s first technology and innovation incubator, mHub Eve Kasambara has said.
Kasambara was speaking in Lilongwe on Tuesday at the start of a week-long Africa Science Week series that mHub and other science stakeholders are hosting under the Next Einstein Forum (NEF), an initiative of the African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS).
Malawi is the first to host the 13-country Africa Science Week series.
“The week presents an opportunity to harness inquisitive science minds and help them develop into scientific leaders for tomorrow,” she said.
Kasambara said the fact that Malawi has been chosen to lead the Africa Science Week highlights the confidence that stakeholders have in the potential of the country and its youth to apply science and technology in ushering economic development.
“As their scientific minds mature, the youth will be challenged to apply and validate their ideas in the community. The best science and technology is the one that responds to local challenges such as youth unemployment, health care, agriculture, and energy–all which are manifest in Malawi,” she said.
The science week took off with a Creative Design Workshop aimed to train students in idea generation and prototyping of scientific projects. It has attracted students from Bwaila, Mkwichi and Likuni Boys Secondary and youth from the nearby community of Mtandire.
Other activities during the week include tech discovery for kids interested in developmg games using scratch and coding mobile apps, hardware programming and digital media skills for women. The events will culminate into a Science Expo where over 20 interactive science and technology projects will be exhibited to local business, corporations and community.
AIMS President and NEF Chair Thierry Zomahoun said the week-long event will demonstrate the critical impact of science to the general public.
“By bringing together key stakeholders from all sectors, we hope to catalyse investment in research and development and discuss best practices for attracting and retaining young people, especially girls and women, in the sciences,” he said.
Looking to the future, the NEF will expand the reach of its Africa Science Week to 30 countries in 2018 and all 54 by 2020. Beyond numbers, the NEF hopes that Africa Science Week will grow to include major activities in schools and universities, and result in concrete collaboration between the research community and private sector.
In line with the NEF’sDakar Declaration, issued at the first biennial NEF Global Gathering, held in in Dakar, Senegal in March 2016, Africa Science Week will place public engagement at the heart of advancing Africa’s scientific agenda. The next edition of the NEF Global Gathering will be held in Kigali in March 2018 under the patronage of H.E. Paul Kagame, President of Rwanda.
Africa Science Week is funded by Johnson & Johnson Innovation, Google and local sponsors in the each country.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :