President Yoweri Museveni Kaguta agreed to Add More Money for Scientists and Innovators in UgandaWensi MUJUNANTE
President Yoweri Museveni Kaguta has agreed to ensure that the Ministry of Science Technology and Innovation gets special funding to continue supporting scientists and innovators in the country as an approach to transform the economy by supporting Ugandan-made products.
The President who was accompanied by the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports, Janet Museveni Kataaha was speaking as the chief guest from Kololo Independence Ground on November 9th 2023 during the Science Week.
According to the President, the Government of Uganda is currently strategically apportioning funds where returns and impact would be felt especially in the economy and within the populace adding that such deliberate calculated spending was the driving force for the One trillion Uganda Shillings appropriated in Parish Development Model (PDM).
He agreed that the Ministry of Science Technology (STI) could have their requested UGX 500 Billion annually but advised the Minister to also have an open mind of seeing how to bring private partners in adding more to support STI in the country.
He also announced that the Government of Uganda would consider a 10 years’ tax holiday for Uganda scientists and innovators to promote science and see the scientific transformational journey of Uganda.
The President’s submission came after the Minister of Science Technology and Innovation, Dr Musenero Monica put up a moving statement saying that the funds under her Ministry is not enough to sustain and continuously support scientists and innovators in the country to develop products ready for the market. The Minister had also raised the issue of tax holidays for the innovators.
Many innovators including Associate Prof.Echodu Richard of Gulu University showed excitement that the pronouncements of the President would encourage and challenge them to do more.
Prof.Echodu said that many Western countries are in the look for innovations hence if they are not protected they would be forced to sell their technologies to the Western world and Uganda would be forced to buy and use it very expensively hence the President’s Pronouncement is a great asset for Uganda innovation’s future.
Prof. Openjuru George Ladaah the Gulu University Vice-Chancellor who doubles as the Chairperson of the Uganda Vice-Chancellors forum also recently petitioned the Minister of Science Technology and Innovation about the risk of losing the young innovators to taxation if the Government doesn’t take some deliberate efforts to curb the appetite of the National Tax Collectors.
The Science Week ‘running under the theme ’Our Science Led Journey Towards Socio-Economic Transformation’ ending on the 11th of November, has 267 exhibitors who are ready for the market according to the Minister of Science Technology and Innovation.