The Government has placed science and technology among the four priorities of the National Development Plan for 2010/11 to 2014/15.
This presents an opportunity and challenge to scientists, policy makers, development planners and the ordinary citizens to transform scientific knowledge into national development programmes. Key among our national aspirations is transforming the economy from an agrarian to an industrial and knowledge economy.
The Presidential Initiative on Science and Technology was started purposely to enhance the development of science and research in the country. The initiative seeks to advance scientific research through better funding and organisation.
The initiative works through various bodies including the Uganda Industrial Research Institute (UIRI), the Uganda National Council of Science and Technology (UNCST), Makerere University Institute of Science and Technology/Food Science, and the various research stations across the country.
The initiative is recording success all over the country. For example, last year, a Ugandan scientist trying to use the soapberry plant to fight mosquitoes received US$400,000 from Presidential Initiative Fund.
Under the initiative too, the Science and Technology Departments at Makerere University are benefiting too. The President has also issued a directive for the Government of Uganda, through the Ministry of Education and Sports, and the Ministry of Finance, to financially support the Innovations at the Faculty of Technology to a tune of UGX 25 Billion spread over a five year period with UGX 5 Billion committed in the Financial Year Starting July 2010.
The Presidential Innovations Fund for the Faculty of Technology was then adopted by the Government of Uganda as part of its strategy to build the country’s scientific and technological capacity to facilitate its development efforts on a sustainable basis. It is a UGX 25 billion five-year project financed by the Government of and implemented by Faculty of Technology through ten projects.
There are 10 projects in the faculty of Technology under the Presidential Innovations program. These include;
- TDTC Project
- ARMS project
- Clusters Project
- Irrigation Project
- CWRC Project
- iLabs@MAK project
- Vehicle Design Project
- Solar Technologies Project
- Industrial Parks Project
- MAKAPADS project