WhatsApp Image 2018 04 24 at 16.26.15A regional policy to streamline Science, Technology & Innovation activities in East Africa is being developed. This was through a Workshop held at Laico Regency Hotel Nairobi on 24th April 2018. The workshop brought together MMUST and other key ST&I stakeholders in Kenya.

The policy will be anchored on the East African Science and Technology Commission (EASTECO) Strategic Plan (2017-2022). MMUST Director in charge of ST&I, Dr. John Muoma, a Plant Biotechnologist who participated, said that “Africa needs to realize its potential as an economic powerhouse; this can only be achieved through well coordinated ST&I activities”.

He said that the European Union member states have common policies such as the regulation of genetic modified organisms (GMO), as well as the one on biological control agents (BCA) that are at advanced stages of development. “Africa is rich in biodiversity and natural resources that could only be meaningfully exploited through  strong ST&I foundations” he said. He also raised concerns on the weakness in protecting intellectual property rights (IPR), yet many innovations keep coming up from our own institutions.

East Africa Consultants, lead by the former Makerere University Vice Chancellor, Prof Venansius Baryamureeba, have taken leadership in ensuring the regional ST&I policy is fully developed. The Principal Secretary for University Education and Research, Prof Micheni Ntiba, challenged the participants to develop a policy that moves beyond publication, with a component of outreach and product development.

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