Reporter- Lovemore Lubinda

Zimbabwe has not been doing well in advancing technology and innovation.

The Executive Director of the Zimbabwe Economic Policy Analysis and Research Unit (ZEPARU) Gibson Chigumira says Zimbabwe’s ranking in the region indicate that the country is a far cry from achieving significant impact in Science, Technology and Innovation.

He says the major problem that has led to the situation is lack of government support.

“In the previous years, the National budget has been allocating a paltry 8 percent to the sector; meaning only $1.5 million was given to research and innovation,” said Chigumira, “that kind of support cannot stimulate a lot of innovation.”

‘Again training is not matching the technological advances. This is largely attributed to the impact of the underperforming of the economy,” said Chugumira.

Zimbabwe is ranked 35 in Africa capacity indicators, has an average 100- 200 scientists contributing to research and innovation compared to that of South Africa and Kenya 5000 and 350 respectively who are generating content from their local setting.

Chigumira attribute that to the industrial robust of the two economies.

Chigumira who was speaking at the launch of launch of Africa Capacity Report (ACR) 2017 said the country should consider training and investment a High or Very High priority in STI.

The AC Report recommends that African governments and the African Union must vigorously pursue new and innovative funding alliances involving bilateral and multilateral donors, governments, as well as non-state actors like private foundations and businesses.

A dedicated percentage of all development loans and grants from development partners should go into developing STI capacity programs. It also put forward pursuing STI-driven development, African governments must make serious commitments to develop human and institutional capacities by investing substantially in high-quality universities, state-of-threat equipped and maintained laboratories, ICT infrastructure, and research funding mechanisms.