A Lusaka-based science communication specialist has called for more investment in science and technology to help the country overcome the current economic challenges caused by the COVID-19 global pandemic.
Veronica Mwaba said with the shrinking in economic growth, embracing science and technology could be a catalyst to economic recovery. Ms. Mwaba, who is also founder and executive director of Dziwa Science & Technology Trust (DSaT) said the country cannot afford to remain behind in science and innovation as a lot of technological information is required to drive the wheels of the economy.” Ms. Mwaba said in an interview.
“A lot of lessons have been learnt from the COVID-19. The “new normal” is aggressively devastating people and economies. Countries across the world are utilising their own local innovations and human capital for different interventions to curb the spread of the pandemic and the country should follow suit.”
The country’s journey to invest in research and development should be matched with greater commitment to increase budgetary allocations. She said innovations should be encouraged as it brings a lot of new ideas in key sectors such as engineering, agriculture, health, environment, education and information and communication technology (ICT).
“If applied correctly, science and technology can promote industrialisation, cultural transformation and eventually assist to solve socio-economic challenges.” she said.
Ms. Mwaba said linking science from academia to policy to feed into supporting science was key for Zambia’s development.
She urged scientists to enhance collaboration with government by identifying areas of priority for research.
“Technocrats should stand out to encourage students at various levels of education at primary and secondary schools, colleges and universities to learn new skills and place a lot of emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) courses, which are the foundation of science and technology and innovation,” Ms. Mwaba who is also a former lecturer at the International Communication University, Lusaka said.
She added that there is the need for scientists to enhance science engagement to build support for research and resource mobilisation.
By: Jowit Saluseki for Times of Zambia