Scott challenges COMESA states to harness science, technology
VICE-PRESIDENT Guy Scott says harnessing science and technology can provide solutions to challenges facing countries in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA).
Dr Scott said this in Lusaka yesterday in a speech read for him by Minister of Lands, Energy and Water Development Chris Yaluma when he officially opened the first meeting of ministers responsible for science and technology in the COMESA region.
“It has been proven that science and technology, if properly harnessed, offer multitudes of opportunities for development in regions like ours,” he said.
Dr Scott said science and technology provide various platforms such as bio-technology which in turn provides solutions to challenges like nutrition, education, health, energy and environment.
“Science and technology hold the promise to ultimately achieve better lives for our citizens and realising sustainable growth and development,” Dr Scott said.
He said COMESA already provides co-operation and promotion of science and technology among its member states.
Dr Scott, however, said there is need for member states to make serious and concrete decisions which they should ensure are implemented.
He cited a robust and friendly policy framework as one of the areas that deserve attention.
“Emphasis should be placed on fostering research and development through co-operation and collaboration within and outside our region,” Dr Scott said.
The Vice-President also called for financing of the innovation process, including adding value to intellectual properties.
And COMESA secretary general Sindiso Ngwenya thanked the Zambian government for providing an enabling environment in which the COMESA secretariat operates.
“COMESA is grateful to the Zambian government for making our work here easier and without interference,” he said.
And Mr Ngwenya said Africa cannot develop without science and technology innovation.