By Mark Kawalya
Uganda’s National Exhibition Science Week, an annual event that gives local innovators a chance to showcase technologies they have developed, will be held from November 6th to 10th at the Kololo Grounds. Launched officially by the government of Uganda, the event will run under the theme, Uganda 2040: The Future We Want Through Science, Technology and Innovation.
Dr.Monica Musenero, the Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation, while speaking at the events media launch held at UMA, said the focus of the science week this year will be on transportation innovations such as electric motorbikes and vehicles. Innovations in the mobility sector are critical for offering solutions to the country’s pollution concerns and alleviating traffic congestion.
“We want to reduce pollution by introducing safe and exquisite mass transport means. We will start with buses and later we will put prototypes in place for SUVs and saloon cars. Many say Uganda is simply assembling but that is not true. We are manufacturing and assembly is just a small component of the process but also essential,” she said.
The minister added that other areas the exhibition will focus on include space science and aeronautics plus pathogen science, which is the country’s ability to develop health-related interventions specifically in the fields of medicines and vaccines for humans, animals, and plants.
“The government understands the need to invest in research and innovation for sustainable socio-economic transformation. We have undertaken a number of projects, including research and development in vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutics, manufacture of both clean diesel engines and electric buses, construction of Uganda’s first satellite, due for launch in November 2022, facilitating the adoption and local manufacturing of Industry 4.0+ technologies; and the construction of skilling and component manufacturing centers, among others. All these and more will be on display for the public to witness during the National Science Week exhibition,” Musenero said.
The government intends to drum up public awareness of the benefits of value addition stemming from science and innovation, build strategic partnerships with both public and private sector players and boost the market potential of locally produced products.
“The National Exhibition Week for Science is a good opportunity to showcase innovations and technologies across all sectors that are steering us towards achieving the national development goals and fighting poverty. Our vision is to see Uganda as the most technologically advanced and innovative nation in the region.” Musenero concluded.