Botswana’s government plans to link up with UNCTAD (United Nations Conference on Trade and Development) to jointly review the country’s National Research, Science, Technology and Innovation Policy.
Minister of Communications, Knowledge and Technology Thulagano Segokgo said the review was necessary in order to align policy with both regional and international protocols to support sustainable development.
He added that there was an urgent need to popularise STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and innovation to help drive the country’s progress towards a knowledge economy.
The objective is to develop what authorities describe as “a robust national research agenda with clear priorities.”
Segokgo encouraged citizens to propose tech innovations with a view to monetising solutions and help “bridge the tech gap”. “It is now time for outputs of research and development together with products, services from innovation to serve as opportunities for employment creation and revenue earning.”
He urged greater exploration of big data: “…be it astronomy or satellite space, to create opportunities and applications that have local relevance and global impact.”
According to Segokgo the government has dedicated the month of August to raise awareness of what is categorised as ‘Research, Science, Technology and Innovation (RSTI)’ and reminded the market of the goals entrenched in the RSTI Policy Implementation Plan of 2012.
Government has planned several activities in 2022, specifically to unite stakeholders and encourage information share and best practice identification around R&D, and tech innovation.