The Minister of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology- Honourable Dr. Douglas Letsholathebe has pointed out that the current situation can be resolved through science and technology.
The Minister has noted that as the world is looking up to science and technology, and coming up with innovations to counter the Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19), Botswana should also keep up with the pace.
“The relevance of this year’s theme to the current global challenge cannot be overemphasised. The world is currently at a standstill due to the unprecedented challenges caused by the COVID – 19 Pandemic. The world looks up at science and technology for solutions and Botswana would not be left behind. Developed countries and members of the G7, G22, and BRICS have been leading on the development of medicines and technologies to combat the spread of the pandemic” Letsholathebe pointed out.
As the world experience different waves and variants of COVID-19, rich countries has been coming up with innovations on medicines and health equipment to curb the spread of the virus. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), test kits, vaccines are among resources which have contributed to some countries’ purses.
One of the ways through which Botswana country can reap the full benefits of Science, Technology and Engineering, Letsholathebe says, is through strengthening of research. As the Ministry responsible for research, the Ministry is working tirelessly to come up with mechanisms and instruments to effectively coordinate and fund research in the country.
Letsholathebe says his Ministry have stepped up efforts to develop new innovations that can change people’s lives. In that regard, the Ministry encourages researchers in various institutions to consider commercialising research products and services to realise returns to the economy.
“During this financial year, my Ministry has set aside P15, 000,000.00 [P15 million] to support research in our key institutions.” Letsholathebe revealed.
Minister Letsholathebe was speaking during the launch of the Month of Science 2021. August was declared Month of Science, Technology and Innovation in in 2008 by SADC Ministers responsible for science, technology and innovation. The decision to dedicate time and resources to commemorate science, technology and innovation was based on observation that awareness in Science, Engineering and Technology in the region was low.