Monica Musenero roots for local technology development

Monica Musenero (seated C) with conference participants

Monica Musenero, the minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, has challenged Ugandans to stop being consumers of imported technology and become creators of technology.

She asked for utilization of our privileged location along the equator to become the best in the energy transition journey.

“We did not benefit from the fossil energy era. Green energy is our time. We have the sun… We need to think beyond what the green energy revolution means for Uganda. Do not believe what you are told. Think original! … I refuse that we are again going to be technology consumers. We are going to be technology creators!” she pledged.

Musenero was delivering a paper titled, ‘Science, technology and innovation in the national development of Uganda’ at Protea hotel, Kampala on December 8, 2022, as she prepared to officially open an international conference.

The main body of the second International Conference on Geographical Science for Resilient Communities, Ecosystems and Livelihoods Under Global Environmental Change (Gorilla) was on December 8 and 9.

The conference was co-organized by National Environment Management Authority (Nema) and Makerere University, and hosted by the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CAES).

Musenero said he wants everyone to start thinking for long hours. She admitted that many people were getting uncomfortable because of her demand, but she was not apologetic.

“Please stop delegating the thinking to others. If you are thinking, you can even create a technology [without money]. You don’t always need a funder… I have made you uncomfortable to start thinking; it is intentional,” she said.

Musenero claimed that Covid-19 made Uganda government wake up to the times.

“Covid made us awake from our slumber… It has led to a technology transition. We are waking up, and we are alert! We have a national strategy to move all sciences, including the geographical ones, forward. It is called the loop and leap strategy.”

She listed Uganda’s current prioritised industrial value chains as export promotion, pathogen economy, aeronautics and space, mobility, productivity acceleration (value addition), industry 4.1+, infrastructure innovations, import substitution and human capital development.

Prof Goretti Nabanoga, the principal of Caes and conference hostess, summarized the goals as seeking to know; how science and research can accelerate the achievement of the global development targets and solve societal challenges; how local, regional and international interactions and collaborations between science, policy and practice can advance the achievement of SDGs; and the role of new knowledge, emerging technologies and innovations.

Nabanoga said the conference would address many issues, including migration and displacement; land degradation; natural disasters and their mitigation; biogeography, biodiversity and ecosystem conservation; emergent technologies; water resources and water systems; socio- ecological intricacies and benefits; and smart cities and urban systems, among others.

Source: The Observer

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