No One Will Cut Science , Technology and Innovation Budget -President Museveni
By Our Correspondents
President Yoweri Museveni has vowed that no one will cut the operating budget of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation as long as he is still the President of Uganda.
Museveni in his four point speech while laying a foundation stone for the National Science, Technology, Engineering And Innovation Centre (NSTEIC) at Rwebitete, Kiruhura District, said he NOT was part of the people who had cut the STI budget by 90%.
“The plan of cutting 90 percent of the Ministry of Science budget; I’m not part of it and as far as I’m the President of Uganda, nobody will cut that budget. I don’t know who planned it because we cannot leave what we should do and do what we shouldn’t do; we need to do more in science rather than less,” Museveni asserted.
The President said the government cannot make such a mistake because Uganda currently needs science and innovation more than before to achieve the desired Science-Led Socio-economic transformation. He was in the company of the First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports, Mrs. Janet Museveni.
Once completed the NSTEIC will facilitate Ugandans through technology and innovation -to participate in national infrastructural projects and manufacturing industries .
Museveni welcomed the venture noting that its model similar to that of the Law Development Centre where lawyers undertake practical legal training after their University education before they are enrolled as advocates of the High Court of Uganda .
“This is like the Law Development Centre for lawyers. A lawyer is trained academically in the law school but before he goes to courts, he must learn the practical techniques of being a lawyer in Uganda. Even if you are trained wherever you are trained, you must attend LDC in order to operate here,” he explained.
Museveni said government will fund the building of a foundry at the centre. This after the STI Minister Dr. Monica Musenero revealed that the Exim Bank of China who are financing the establishment of the centre through a loan, had declined to cater for the foundry.
“We shall build the foundry. If the Exim Bank are tired, for us we are not tired. We shall build the foundry ourselves. The foundry is like a furnace where you heat things or where you do the blacksmithing,” he said.
Dr. Musenero says 1,200 Ugandans are expected to be equipped with precision industrial skills per year hence improved employability and participation in industrial jobs.
“At least 1,300 jobs will be created per year, hence improving the livelihood of the local communities and nationals. Import substitution for many engineering products will be achieved and it will increase local participation in infrastructure projects and reduction in foreign dependency,” she said.
“The centre will among others provide tailor-made programs, targeting high precision manufacturing technologies, such as design and Computer Numeric Control (CNC) Programming that demand attention to detail.”
The construction works are expected to be complete by July 2023 and the facility will be handed over to the Ministry of Science by November 2023.
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