By Mark Kawalya
President Yoweri Museveni has approved an annual allocation of UGX500 billion ($133 million) to boost technological innovations in the country. Additionally, he granted tax exemptions for local innovators that are new to the market as a means of fostering growth in the economy.
The President made these announcements as he addressed officials, innovators, and investors during the fourth day of National Science Week, which was held at the Kololo Ceremonial Grounds from November 6th–11th, 2023. His statement came after Science, Technology, and Innovation Minister Dr. Monica Musenero, her Finance counterpart Matia Kasaija, and other investors gave presentations on the obstacles that stand in the way of the development of local innovations in the country.
Museveni said the government has, however, been supporting local innovation. “We have been putting money into projects but some people interfere with it and we can stop them,” he said.
“Therefore, we don’t have a problem with this minimum funding that Dr. Musenero is talking about. The seed capital for innovations can be provided through this annual allocation of money. If we can get the private sector to bring additional venture capital, that is very good,” he added.
The third edition of National Science Week took place at the Kololo Independence Grounds from November 6th–11th, 2023, and had approximately 400 exhibitors in the innovation space.
Dr. Monica Musenero Masanza, while speaking during the launch of the National Science Week 2023 in Kampala, said that the Secretariat was thrilled to announce the much-awaited event that would provide solutions to spur economic progress. “Our theme this year is Uganda Tusimbudde: Our Science-Led Journey towards Socio-Economic Transformation. This is an important shift because the week-long science vehicle will provide participants with an intensive experience of Uganda’s amazing science-led reform journey.”