BILL AND MELINDA GATES FOUNDATION CEO MAKES HISTORIC VISIT
TO UGANDA’S MINISTRY OF SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION
By Moses Sserwanga
The Chief Executive Officer, (CEO) of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation , Dr. Susan Desmond Hellmann , has made a historic visit to Uganda ‘s Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) and pledged that her organisation will offer technical support to create a mass of specialized and skilled human resource that can advance Uganda’s innovations .
While citing the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation motto ; “All lives have equal value”, Dr. Hellmann who was received by the Minister of Science Technology and Innovation, Dr. Elioda Tumwesigye, said she was excited about the opportunity to work with the ministry to upscale Uganda’s innovations to benefit as many people as possible.
“Have young people get excited about Uganda’s innovations which should be of beneficial value and we are looking forward to a collaboration that will enhance science ,technology and innovation in Uganda ,” she stated.
Dr. Hellmann gave the MoSTI leadership headed by Dr .Tumwesigye a “ Grand Challenges Uganda” concept note which offers mechanisms through which the Ministry’s technocrats can take advantage of the available resources and opportunities at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to champion science and innovations in Uganda.
Dr.Tumwesigye highlighted the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation’s mandate to promote research and encourage development of indigenous innovations for the purpose of facilitating indigenous knowledge , systems and commercialization of Uganda’s innovations like the Kiira Electric and solar powered cars . He further stated that the ministry was at the forefront of establishing product development facilities , innovation hubs and technology parks across the country .
Dr. Hellmann was accompanied by Mr.David Mukanga, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Director for Africa . She held a closed door meeting with the MOSTI technical officials who included among others , the Under Secretary, Mr. Freddie E. Mugunga, the Director for Science , Research and Innovation Eng. Dr. James Kasigwa and the Director Techno-preneurship , Mr. Basil Ajer .
Others in attendance were, the Kiira Motors Corporation (KMC), Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Paul Isaac Musasizi , the Operations Manager at Kiira Motors , Mr. Arthur Tumusiime Asiimwe and Dr. D. Kamugasha, the Deputy Executive Director of the Uganda Institute for Research and Innovation (UIRI).
Dr.Hellmann and her team later toured an exhibition by some of Uganda’s Innovators working under the Ministry of Science ,Technology and Innovation who included , Kiira Motors ,the country ‘s flagship for vehicles made in Uganda and the green mobility technologies, Banana Industrial Development (PIBID), the Uganda Institute For Research and Innovation . Other exhibitors were drawn from Makerere and Mbarara Universities .