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MoSTI welcomes PS

UNCST welcomes Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation

Friday 2nd December 2016.

The Management and staff of Uganda National Council for Science and Technology (UNCST) received the Mr. David O.O. Obong, the recently appointed Permanent Secretary for the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) at the Science and Technology House in Ntinda, which houses the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation.

Mr. Obong a seasoned public servant comes with a wealth of experience in civil service.   He has worked as Permanent Secretary with the Ministry of Water and Environment (MWE) for the last nine years.  He previously served in the same position at the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development (MoGLSD) and Ministry of Agriculture, Animal Industry and Fisheries (MAAIF) for one year and six years, respectively.  He has vast knowledge of decentralisation and the operations of local governments.

In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary appreciated God and His Excellency the President of the Republic of Uganda for granting him this opportunity to serve the nation of Uganda. He observed that pioneering as Permanent Secretary of a unique ministry such as the MOSTI was challenging, but achievable.

He highlighted the importance of the new ministry in the context of national and global development agenda as evidenced in the National Development Plan (NDP), NRM Government’s Manifesto, Uganda’s Vision 2040, sustainable development goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement.  He observed that the current global discourse on mitigating and adapting to the impacts of climate change focuses on technology-based interventions.

The Permanent Secretary expressed commitment to work closely with UNCST and Uganda Industrial Research Institute (UIRI) to operationalise the new MOSTI, and has to date secured a Vote (23) for the ministry.  He observed that the population has high expectations of the new ministry and key among issues to address include: low level of incubation of local innovations, over-reliance on foreign technologies, as well as the poor public perception of biotechnology.  He advised UNCST to develop comprehensive communication strategies for all the STI policies that are in place in order to facilitate their effective implementation.

 

In conclusion the Permanent Secretary briefed staff on how ministries operate and his expectations from UNCST in this ”Kisanja Hakuna Mchezo.” He urged staff to support government programmes, and always make reference to Government Policy documents such as: Public Service Standing Orders, Finance Management Act, Public Procurement and Disposal Act, etc.”

Dr. Ndemere, Executive Secretary UNCST, welcomed the Permanent Secretary and gave a brief overview of the achievements of UNCST, including lobbying for a substantive ministry for STI. He observed that UNCST had played the role of MOSTI in Uganda for the last 26 years and highlighted a few achievements in the area of policy development, as well as challenges.  Key among the challenges was the inability to retain staff owing to poor remuneration, and inadequate funding for research and innovation.

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The UNCST was instituted to implement the provisions of the UNCST Act 1990, CAP 2009. Our primary goal is to develop and implement ways of incorporating science and technology in the national development process. The Council advises government on relevant policy matters, and coordinates research and development activities in Uganda.

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