News & Up­dates:

In a bid to fast-track the changing global trends of development, Government has earmarked Sh274.4b to support science, innovation and technological advancement in the country.

Government argues that in order to boost science, innovation and technology for job creation, there is an urgent need to ensure both financial and political goodwill for the sector.

The revelation was made by the Finance Minister, Matia Kasaija during the National Budget reading for Financial Year 2022/23 held on 14th June 2022 at the Kololo Independence grounds.

According to Kasaija, the total Government spending for the next financial year 2022/23 is set at Shs48.1 trillion and of this Sh274.4b has been earmarked for the sector.

Kasaija said one of the key priorities for the Financial Year 2022/23 Budget is enhancing human capital development, science, innovation, and knowledge transfer and that the allocated government funds are aimed toward fostering research and technological innovation.

The Minister informed members that with the funds, research into medicinal development will be expanded to major non-communicable diseases like cancer, diabetes, sickle cell anemia and malaria in the next financial year.

He also said the development of a 3 (three) prospective COVID19 vaccine was undergoing animal trials and that the human trials will commence in the next financial year.

In addition, he said clinical trials into COVID19 treatment for viral respiratory diseases were also ongoing.

He also informed the members that Uganda will launch into the lower earth orbit, its first-ever satellite from the international space station in collaboration with US Space Agency, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

According to a story published by The Observer on May 11, 2022, Uganda began the path to launch its first satellite into space in April 2020. Three graduate students were sent to obtain training in satellite design, manufacture, and testing as part of a multinational program initiated in 2015 by the Kyushu Institute of Technology in Japan.

Kasaija explained that a ground station that will receive data from the satellite had been set up at Mpoma earth satellite station in Mukono District.

The Data according to the minister will be used for meteorological, environmental monitoring and, urban planning, mineral exploration and disaster management among others.

The station is expected to be managed by The Uganda People’s Defense Force (UPDF), Uganda Telecom Limited (UTL) and The Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation space programme.