Home » General » Be Techno-Savvy, Security Forces Urged

Security forces should strive to be aanced in technology as countries are confronted with unprecedented and invisible types of technology-driven threats, a Government official has said. Deputy Minister of Higher and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development, Dr Godfrey Gandawa said yesterday that some of the threats were cybercrime, terrorism, abuse of social media, laboratory made diseases and possible nuclear and chemical warfare.

He was addressing senior army, Air Force of Zimbabwe and police officers at the National Defence College in Harare.

“The Zimbabwean military and other national security outfits should never allow themselves to be underdogs in aancing science and ICT as key elements of strategic importance in pursuit of guaranteed territorial integrity and sovereignty in an environment of sustained peace, stability and socio-economic development,” Dr Gandawa said.

He said political will was a prerequisite in African governments to invest in research and development to aance hard sciences, engineering technology and information communication technologies.

“African States remain seriously exposed to high security threats related to socio-economic instability, destabilisation and disease burdens if Africa does not embark on its own research and development in bio-medical sciences,” said Dr Gandawa.

“Infrastructure should be developed to attract and retain African medical scientists, who in turn become the required critical mass for training African scientists as they collaborate on common health concerns, share expertise and build capacity.”

Dr Gandawa said Africa lagged behind both in civilian and military research and development in strategic and security areas.

He said some of them were nuclear energy technologies and satellite applications for health, agriculture, security, wildlife, parks and environmental and social transition management programmes. The others were combating aance cybercrime and terrorism and drug discovery.

Dr Gandawa said they should embark on a collective Pan-African drive to develop infrastructure for intensive research and development and innovation in strategic sciences, ICT and other technologies.

“Security forces are also called upon to step in, in the event of epidemic outbreaks such as cholera, Ebola, HIV and Aids and malaria,” he said.

“The question that begs an answer is as we speak, in the event that the evil of Ebola decides to visit Zimbabwe, are you as our national security system adequately trained and equipped to handle such an outbreak of the magnitude seen in West African countries today?”

Dr Gandawa said African economies were paying heavily for the sins of not having developed scientific platforms to deal with diseases.

Source : The Herald