Science and Innovation Minister Dr. Elioda Tumwesigye has hailed Kampala International University ( KIU ) for promotion of science and innovations and contributing towards development best human resource in the region.
Presiding over the 20th graduation ceremony where over 2400 people received degrees and masters, Tumwesigye said KIU is one of the Universities that has continuously and positively expanded in terms programmes innovations and teaching cutting edge courses needed in the job market.
“Marking the 20th Graduation is a clear sign of the contribution the University has made towards the development of human resource capacity not only for Uganda, but also within the East African Region and beyond. A nation can only be considered progressive if it pays attention to the development of its human capital,”he said.
“I wish to express our gratitude to the KIU Board of Trustees under the able leadership of AlHaj Dr Hassan Basajjabalaba, who started this University. I also congratulate you for being recently recognized for your contribution to higher education for which you were awarded an Honorary Doctorate.Al Haj Basajjabalaba has challenged the odds in setting up what is now clearly a very competitive University of both national and international repute,”Tuwesigye added.
He however said presence of the KIU Group in several countries in East Africa will contribute positively towards the realization of the implementation of the Higher Education protocols and standards within the region, under the framework of the Inter-University Council for East Africa.
Tumwesigye pledged to support KIU to promote Science and Technology Agenda like other countries such as South Korea, Singapore, Israel and China
“NRM government believes that ST&I can be used as a strategic tool that can unlock the potential development potential. Our government is aware Science, Technology and Innovation provide an empirical avenue for knowledge generation and are key cornerstones that can drive development and socio-economic transformation,” he said.
Tumwesigye however revealed that his ministry is ready to push for science innovations following development National Research and Innovation Program (NRIP) Framework on 21st March this year. The framework will guide the mobilization, management and utilization of Research and Innovation Fund to support basic research, technology development and commercialization of innovations. Program implementation will be overseen by a Steering Committee.
He also said his ministry is currently reviewing Science and Technology policy with support from United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). The review is to align the policy with the contemporary and emerging ST&I themes such as Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, Big data and Big data analytics, Internet of Things Biotechnology Nanotechnology Stem Cell Technology Genomics –Gene editing, Gene silencing, Gene modification Synthetic biology iomedical Engineering Polymer Chemistry Nuclear/Quantum Physics Technology and other components of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
“With this in place we intend to establish municipal innovation centers that will provide space for innovators to valorize their ideas develop and improve on their products. We are also set to implement a national science, technology, engineering and innovation skills enhancement program (NSTEI-SEP),”Tumwesigye clarified.
The program aims to enhance Science, Technology Engineering and Innovation Skills development and promote STEI based enterprise development among graduates, craftsmen, technicians, engineers as well as other scientists and innovators.
The intervention also seeks to re-tool graduates, craftsmen, technicians and engineers and equip them to undertake various infrastructural works that will promote local content, generate employment and create wealth.The program will establish technology, innovation and business incubation centers (TIBICs) including work spaces and common-user facilities for scientists and innovators to help them further develop their technologies and business models. The Ministry also intends to establish Science and Technology Parks in collaboration with Universities.
Dr. Mouhamad Mpezamihigo Vice chancellor of KIU said soon they will launch a Science and Technology Hub at Ishaka. This is in addition to your well known Schools of Clinical Medicine and Dentistry, Nursing, Pharmacy and Allied Health Sciences. The establishment of a science hub, will not be not one of its kind in the countryside but in country at large.
KIU Teaching Hospital in Ishaka was Ranked 4th best among 132 General hospitals in the Country (New Vision, 31st Oct 2018).webometric rankings, rated KIU as the best private University in Uganda.
This also calls for regulators and professional bodies to consider a review of how best technology can be integrated in the regulatory frameworks.
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