Parliamentary Committee on Education, Science and Technology says science and technology are key to the attainment of Malawi’s social and economic development.
Member of the committee and member of Parliament (MP) for Thyolo Central Constituency, Ben Phiri, has since commended the National Commission for Science and Technology (NCST) for working with rural-based innovators in identifying homemade solutions to the problems facing the country.
Phiri made the remarks in the area of Group Village Head (GVH) Bondera Nyirenda in Traditional Authority Kampingo Sibande in Mzimba where the lawmakers appreciated how a young innovator, Colred Nkosi, is transforming lives of his community through the hydropower electricity he invented.
“Developed countries such as China and Singapore are where they are today because of innovators such as Colred Nkosi. That’s why we are encouraging NCST to identify more talent and work with them so that this country can achieve the development goals spelt out in our Malawi 2063,” he said.
Phiri, who was speaking on behalf of the committee chairperson Brainax Kaise, assured NCST that the committee will lobby with the National Assembly to allocate adequate resources to the Science and Technology (S&T) Fund so that more innovators can benefit.
In his remarks, Nkosi, who invented Kasangazi Hydro Powe Electrical Plant, said his system is currently supplying power to 30 houses, which is far below the demand for electricity in the area.
“There’s huge demand for electricity in this area and people are willing to pay for it. But I am failing to upgrade the system because I don’t have the resources,” he said.
He was, however, quick to thank United Nations Development Program (UNDP), NCST, Technical, Entrepreneurial, Vocational Education Training Authority (TEVETA) and Press Trust, which have started mobilizing resources to support his initiative.
Nkosi disclosed that recently, NCST gave him K2 million from the Science and Technology Fund to go towards procurement of some materials needed for expansion of the system.
“UNDP and TEVETA have supported me. But the materials are not yet adequate for me to undertake an expansion drive. I therefore plead with the MPs who have paid me a visit me today to intervene,” he said.
NCST Chairperson of the Science and Awards Committee, Monday Makoko, said they organized the tour to enable the MPs to familiarize themselves with what the Commission has been doing to nurture and promote innovation.
Makoko said the Commission expects the lawmakers to help them lobby for more funding towards the Science and Technology Fund.