Home » Governance » Investing in Science Crucial – Muchinguri

Investing in science is crucial for poverty reduction, reliable energy, clean water and sanitation and health, Higher and Tertiary Education Minister Oppah Muchinguri has said. Officially opening a two-day consultation meeting on sustainability science to support the post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Agenda for science experts from Africa and Asia in Harare on Wednesday, Minister Muchinguri said many newly developed countries were investing in sciences and technology after realising that it was crucial for social and economic development.

“African Governments, scientists and communities therefore need to look ahead with foresight in order to plan and prepare adequately for emerging development challenges and opportunities,” she said.

Minister Muchinguri said although Zimbabwe was ranked as one of the countries with high literacy levels, the remaining challenge was to translate the knowledge base into higher levels of practical human skills in science and technology.

She said 2,5 million engineers and technicians were needed in Sub-Saharan Africa to aid in sustainable development.

“There is need to encourage more young men and women to venture into scientific disciplines which offer opportunities for descent work, which is a pre-requisite for a knowledge based economy,” said Minister Muchinguri.

She said the post 2015 SDGS provide African countries with an opportunity to make major improvements on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which looked at the needs of science and technology. Minister Muchinguri called on policy makers, scientists and Governments to work together and elaborate on measurable targets tied up with good implementation plans.

Addressing the same gathering, UNESCO regional director for Southern Africa Professor Hubert Gijzen said although MDGs did not take science into account, nine of the 17 goals laid on science and technology.

He said should science have been taken into consideration, some of the goals could have been met.

“Let us avoid making the same mistake in the post 2015 development agenda,” he said.

Zimbabwe is hosting the two-day conference which is being attended by science experts from various African countries.

Source : The Herald