PRIVATE SECTOR URGED TO INVEST IN SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

The Ministry of Communications, Science and Technology is going to work hard to ensure that 4000 jobs are created through Information and Technology (IT).

The Minister of Communications, Science and Technology, Chief Thesele Maseribane said this at the end of a tour of the National University of Lesotho (NUL) Innovation Hub at the Campus, Roma in Maseru on Wednesday.

He said IT is one of the sectors the government has identified to have potential in creation of jobs hence the need for both government and private sector to invest in it.

He commended NUL for the kind of innovation projects implemented through the Hub, adding that the projects have the potential of creating jobs for Basotho to improve the economic growth of the country.

The Minister said in an effort to address some of the challenges that the University is facing, the ministry will see to it that the Lesotho Science and Technology Bill 2019 is passed by the 10th Parliament of Lesotho.

He said the Bill includes issues related to the establishment of a trust fund and a commission which will be used to solicit funding and for innovation activities that are already in place but lack funding to expand to industrial market.

During the visit at NUL, the Minister also handed over 30 computers classified as top of the range to support innovations and technology implemented by the University for skills development.

Speaking at the same event, the NUL Vice Chancellor Prof. Nqosa Mahao said it is important to invest in innovation and technology because these are the areas in which countries can develop and improve their economies.

He said, ‘Investing in science and technology is highly important because that is where the economy of any country lies’.

Prof. Mahao said the University has a variety of business projects that need to be developed, saying the institution appreciates the gesture of computers from the Ministry.

‘We need computers desperately since everything is going technological in higher institutions of learning’, he explained.

He also invited the private sector to invest in the value chain projects to improve the laboratories by having better capacity, to make the Hub a better place for production before products could be taken to the proposed industrial park to be located at Lehoatateng in the Roma area where a variety of companies will be housed to produce goods on a larger scale.

Prof. Mahao said NUL had discussions with the Millennium Challenge Corporation and the African Growth Opportunities Act (AGOA) on how the University can export some of its products to the American market through AGOA.

Through the Innovation Hub tour, the Minister and his entourage that included the Ministry’s management and representatives from the private sector witnessed a variety of products produced under the Hub.

The products include incubation and hatchery machine, yogurt plant, fortified food such as sorghum drink (motoho), biscuits, paving bricks as well as development of a system that is intended to detect cancer particularly lung cancer at an early stage.

The Hub was officially launched by His  Majesty King Letsie III last year. It is meant to incubate the entrepreneurial culture in Basotho students for job creation and economic growth.

Also present at the tour was the Minister of Development Planning, Mr. Tlohelang Aumane who commended NUL for the innovation work already taking place at the campus.
Source: LENA 20/03/2019