THE OPERATIONALIZATION OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY FUND LAUNCH 23rd February 2022 BICC LILONGWE.

The national commission for science and technology NCST, finally launched the operationalization of Science and Technology Fund through the government of Malawi, on the 23rd February 2022 at BICC in Lilongwe, under the theme “Financing Research Science and Technology and Innovations towards Malawi2063.” About six pavilions of different innovators/projects were showcased at the event, just to appreciate the talents and learn how the fund could be important to different innovators and how it will help such projects for our country if to improve. For example, the 6GR System from Dzaleka CDSS, where they came up with a computer software that helps to identify drivers who commit offenses. The system sends a text message to police stations and when it is discovered, it is easy to track drivers fond of committing offences. The aim is to reduce road accidents in the country.

The fund aims at achieving a science and technology led development nation. Three dummy cheques were presented at the launch, one for the small grants amounting to K117,665,265, one for institutional grants amounting to K120 million, and the other one of Technology and Innovation Support amounting to K20 million.

The guest of honor Minster of Education Hon. Agnes Nyalonje, in her remarks she said the S&T Fund will advance Science, Technology and Innovations for sustainable growth and development in Malawi. She said, the operationalization of the S&T Fund will give citizens a chance to participate in STI which will advance technology in the country, claiming that due to lack of funds, many people do not take part in the STI.

NCST Director general professor Elijah Wanda also made a presentation, underscored the need for enhancement of financial support towards STI if the country is to improve in science and technology. He said, 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.

Speaking during the launch, NCST Board Chairperson, professor Emmanuel Kaunda, commended governments commitment in advancing STI in the country. He said for the first-time since the inception of the commission in 2010, government has operationalized the S&T Fund amounting to K291 million in the 2021-2022 financial year and the aim for the fund is to provide an avenue of direct investment in the science and technology sector in Malawi.

One of the grantees/innovators representatives, Zach 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 technology and innovations.

On the other hand, the commission appealed for continued support from different patterners of the S&T Fund such as National Bank of Malawi (NB), Malawi Bureau of Standards (MBS), NICO asset managers and NICO assets, ETHCO, Ministry of Health and UNESCO whom also appreciated the government’s commitment in the advancement of the STI for sustainable growth and development in the country. And finally, the national Commission for Science and Technology team, who made it all happen in working together as a team to make the event a success. On behalf of the DG, chair of the team Isaac Chingota congratulated all members for the brilliant work done.