Research, science, technology programme on the cards

24 Mar 2014 18:00pm
WINDHOEK, 24 MAR (NAMPA) - Representatives from various research institutions in Namibia, South Africa and Botswana will over the next two days review a draft national research, science, technology and innovation programme (NRSTIP).
In terms of Section 18 of the Research, Science and Technology Act No 23 of 2004, the National Commission on Research, Science and Technology (NCRST) must prepare a national programme for research, science and technology once every three years.
A draft programme has been developed within the broader context of Namibia’s Vision 2030 goals to become a “prosperous and industrialised Namibia, developed by her human resources, enjoying peace, harmony and political stability”.
Speaking at the opening of the national consultative workshop on the development of the NRSTIP in Windhoek on Monday, the chairperson of the NCRST, André du Pisani noted that the programme responds to a number of national policy framings, notably Vision 2030 and the fourth National Development Programme (NDP 4), as well as various international policy documents.
“The overriding purpose of these consultations is to engage critically and creatively with the draft NRSTIP, so as to provide strategic focus to the work of the NCRST and national direction in the domains of research, science, technology and innovation,” he stressed.
Speaking at the same event, NCRST Chief Executive Officer Eino Mvula said the commission is willing and committed to engage stakeholders at all times as it develops national instruments in line with its mandate.
“Platforms will be created to ensure that stakeholders are given the opportunity to comment and give input so as to ensure stakeholders’ ownership and buy-in,” he stressed.
Mvula commended the education ministry and the National Planning Commission (NPC) for funding the initiative, as well as the sponsors, which include the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco), the Spanish Development Corporation Agency, and the southern Africa Innovation Research Programme (SAIS) funded by the Finnish government.
A plenary session will be conducted that will amongst others include industrial policy in relations to research and innovation; the NRSTI implementation plan by Botswana; importance of university-industrial collaboration in RSTI; a Finnish perspective on research and development in industry; role and expectations of the private sector in RSTI; as well as the role and expectations of non-governmental organisations in research, science, technology and innovation.
The Minister of Education, David Namwandi will present the final document to Cabinet for approval, and then table it in the National Assembly.