Zambia has been selected among three pilot countries in Sub-Sahara Africa for the implementation of a technology assessment project in the energy and agriculture sectors using science, technology and innovation as a catalyst, Technology and Science Minister Felix Mutati has revealed.
Speaking at a press briefing Mr Mutati said the selection was done under the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development UNCTAD, an intergovernmental organization intended to promote interests of developing countries in world trade.
Mr Mutati said technology assessment can assist the country in identifying priorities, improve cost effectiveness and long term impact of technology policies and investments especially in the field of agriculture and energy.
“In the area of energy for example, we can take an assessment on the most effective mechanisms to take electricity particularly in rural areas using mini-grids and other renewable energies. We want to deliver power to rural areas in such a manner that is cost effective and pricing if energy at rural level that is affordable” Mr Mutati said.
Mr Mutati said the partnership with UNCTAD is timely as the country is now undertaking a critical exercise to review its information, communication and technology policy and therefore, the assessment will be able to feed into the policy so that going forward, appropriate technologies in agriculture and energy are applied.
The minister said government is pleased to be among three countries selected to undertake the implementation exercise of the technology assessment project in energy and agriculture which is anticipated to take about 2 years.
He said once completed, the science, technology and innovation landscape in Zambia will no longer be the same and has assured of the new dawn government’s commitment to take ownership of the project and deliver on behalf of the people of Zambia.
“We are pleased that we are among the three countries selected to undertake this exercise which will take about 2 years. Once completed, the science, technology and innovation landscape in Zambia will no longer be the same. I want to assure of the new dawn government’s commitment to take and own tye project and deliver on behalf of the people of Zambia” he said.
Mr Mutati further said working with UNCTAD, it will help the country develop a work-plan to design Zambia’s technology assessment methodology as there is determination at country level to have a paradigm shift in the procuring and governing technology and innovation.
And UNCTAD Global Assessment Coordinator Dr. Militos Ladikas said he is certain that the partnership will bear fruits beyond the timeline of the project.
Dr Ladikas said the project will improve people’s quality of life through creation of policy actions that are socially, environmentally and economically sustainable.