Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Botswana awaits approval of new science policy

With the establishment of two science and technology bodies to provide oversight of the country's research and development (R&D), Botswana hopes its research system will be better coordinated and funded . The Botswana National Research, Development and Innovation Coordinating Council (BNRDCC), will focus on funding strategies for adequate implementation of the country's research, development and innovation agenda. The existing Department of Research, Science and Technology, under the Ministry of Infrastructure, Science, and Technology, will be transformed into a directorate primarily responsible for the creation of policy and legislative that promotes participation in science and technology R&D. Currently, critics say that Botswana's research system faces numerous constraints, including inadequate investment in research; fragmented, uncoordinated and untargeted research activities; lack of technology transfer and scarce human resources. "The government has been funding R&D, but in very small amounts, which have not been enough to provide for comprehensive research in the country," says Carter Morupisi, permanent secretary in the Ministry of Infrastructure, Science, and Technology. Keta Mosepele, a senior research fellow at the Okavango Research Institute, said: "We need these oversight bodies because … communities are not reaping the benefits from research work. "We compete with other researchers from outside our country for this donor money. Now, with government funding research, things will improve." Link to full article available here.

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