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Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation MEDIA RELEASE

Press Release

By

Dr. Elioda Tumwesigye (MP)

Uganda Media Centre
22nd September 2017

Topic: High- level conference on application of science technology and innovation in harnessing African agricultural transformation
Theme: “Integrating the path in Africa’s agricultural transformation”
The Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MoSTI) was created in June 2016 in recognition of the need by Government to explicitly prioritize issues relating to the Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) as a key driver for Economic Development. Uganda needs urgent interventions to find ways of mainstreaming utilization of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) to transform agriculture needs.
For Uganda to benefit from cutting-edge science, technology and innovation to mitigate its challenges, five key issues need to be addressed. These include;
•    Unpredictable Science Technology and Innovation policy environment,
•    The presence of strict liability bio-safety regulatory frameworks,
•    Low technology access
•    Insufficient command among our leaders on STI,
•    Low public investments in agricultural research & development and public perceptions.

To address the above challenges, the Government of the Republic of Uganda, The African Agricultural Technology Foundation (AATF) and their partners; African Union Commission (AUC)and the Common Markets for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) are organizing a three-day high-level conference on Application of Science, Technology and Innovation in Harnessing Opportunities for Africa’s Agricultural Transformation.

 
OBJECTIVES OF THE CONFERENCE ARE:
•    To showcase the current and potential impact of application of science, technology and innovation for improved agricultural productivity, value-addition and poverty reduction

•    To share Synopsis of the current status of Agriculture in Africa capturing the past, current and future trends

•    To showcase the significance of enabling systems in optimizing the impact and benefits of modern biotechnology to African agriculture.

•    To facilitate constructive dialogue amongst high-level policy makers, experts, farmers, investor, regulators, communicators, development partners and the media on the Role of STIs in Sustainable Food Systems and Nutrition in Africa.

•    To outline STI-related policy options that could catalyse agricultural transformation for a food and nutrition secure Africa.

Among the topics to be discussed are;    
•    The state of agriculture in Africa
•     Contributions of conventional science, technology and innovations to modern agriculture
•     Integrating modern biotechnology into Africa’s agriculture for food security
•    Securing smallholder farmers’ resilience to impacts of climate change
•    Fostering evidence-based policies for transformational change in Africa’s agriculture
•    The critical role of PPPs in transforming African agriculture
•    Strengthening intellectual property rights to catalyze transformational change in Africa’s agriculture
•    Inspiring a Climate for Change to enhance food security
•    Regional approaches to biotech adoption and trade in Africa
•    Winning political patronage//support to advances science in the age of ‘alternative facts’
•    Repositioning agriculture in Africa towards agribusiness entrepreneurial ship
•    Biosafety gate-keeping experiences in Africa: Case study of NBMA of Nigeria and South Africa
•    The role of strategic communication in technology adoption for impact

        The targeted participants of the conference include leaders and decision makers, including H.E. General Yoweri Kaguta Museveni the President of the Republic of Uganda, Benjamin Mkapa former president of Tanzania, the Rt. Hon. Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, Ms. Gina Grey Ivey from the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation, Dr. Hamadou Biteye the managing director Rockefeller foundation, Prof. Kevin Folta the University of Florida, Dr. C.D Mayee president Asian Biotechnology, Cyprian Ebong Executive director ASARECA, cabinet ministers, lead scientists/experts, farmer union leaders, industry captains, biotech advocacy/communication networks, senior science journalists/editors, Professors, UN representatives and development partners.

FOR GOD AND MY COUNTRY

Thank You