Science and Technology Commission commits to promoting, nurturing grassroots innovations

National Commission for Science and Technology (NCST) has expressed its commitment to the promotion and nurturing of grassroots talent by providing technical and financial support to the innovators.

NCST Commissioner Frank Maele made the commitment on Wednesday when members of Parliament (MPs) sitting on the Education, Science and Technology Committee toured solar-generated electricity projects in Dedza and Machinga districts.

The tour was organized to allow MPs to appreciate the progress the Commission is making in the promotion of innovation in Malawi.

Innovator Benedicto Kankhulungo (holding a solar panel) poses for a photo with NCST Commissioners and MPs–Photo by Watipaso Mzungu

Using the K300 million Science and Technology Fund the government allocated in its 2022-2023 Financial Year, the Commission has been supporting over 30 young innovators across the country to realize their dream of brining electricity to their communities.

Twenty-year-old Benedicto Kankhulungo, who comes from Traditional Authority (T/A) Liwonde in Machinga, is one of the beneficiaries of the fund. He is making unified electrical power amplifiers, which he uses to amplify, increase, and boost the quality of power through increasing the input signal’s voltage.

The amplifiers are currently undergoing final tests at the laboratory at the Malawi University of Business and Applied Sciences (MUBAS).

In Dedza, the Commission is working with Mandela Chilenje who, using his natural talent, knowledge and uncertified raw materials, has powered six houses with solar electricity in Chikwereza Village in the area of T/A Kachindamoto.

And speaking after touring the projects, Commissioner Maele expressed his institution’s eagerness to promote and nurture natural and grassroots talent.

“These innovators have the potential to transform turn their societies into towns and mini cities and eventually transforming the whole nation. It is against this background that this Commission commits itself to the promotion and nurturing of natural talent,” he said.

But Maele lamented the limited resources the Science and Technology Fund receives from the Central Government. He pleaded with the Education, Science and Technology Committee of Parliament to consider increasing the budgetary allocation to the pool.

Chairperson of the Education, Science and Technology Committee of Parliament, Brainax Kaise, said they were impressed with the strides innovators are making in improving the quality of life for their communities.

Kaise – who is Member of Parliament for Nkhotakota South Constituency – assured that the committee will push for increased allocation to the Commission in the next financial year.

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