Namibia spends little on research: Du Pisani

17 Mar 2015 16:20pm
WINDHOEK, 17 MAR (NAMPA) – The Chairperson of the National Commission on Research Science and Technology (NCRST), Professor Andre du Pisani said the country has been spending little funds on research.
Du Pisani said this during the launch of the three financial years, 2014/2015 to 2016/2017 National Programme on Research, Science, Technology and Innovation (NPRSTI) here on Tuesday.
The objective of the programme is to provide national strategic direction in Research Science,Technology and Innovation (RSTI), with an emphasis on establishing and strengthening a national system of innovation that would foster the transformation to a knowledge-based society.
Du Pisani said the Ministry of Education's budget allocation to the research programme need to be increased in order to promote the culture of research and innovation in the country.
“Finance is a major challenge, that needs to be addressed by both parties, private and public sector,” he said.
While giving the overview of the programme, Du Pisani said the financial investments and technical support comes from the private sector as well as regional and international donors towards complementing the public budget.
He added that the RSTI funding is a critical success factor for the implementation of this programme.
The chairperson explained that the funding for the implementation of the programme will follow the normal government budgeting cycle and should be included in the NCRST budget.
Du pisani noted that during the 2014/15 financial year, a total budget of N.dollars 256 million was allocated to research and development, with N.dollars 320 million estimated for 2015/2016 financial year.
A total budget allocation of N.dollars 380 million is estimated for the research and development programme during 2016/2017 financial year as per gross domestic product (GDP) of 0.3 per cent.
In a speech read by Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education Alfred Ilukena, Minister of Education David Namwadi said the ministry remains committed to provide funding for the implementation of the NPRSTI through the NCRST budget.
Namwandi, however, noted that the NPRSTI implementation require extra funding from the private sector, regional and international resource partners in order to fully contribute to the development of research, science, technology and innovation in the country.
“We understand that the successful implementation of the NPRSTI requires total commitment and involvement of all stakeholders in the realising the goal of a knowledge society, build on excellence in science, technology and innovation,” he said.