ZAMBIA has challenged the private sector in developing countries to take responsibility and contribute to the economic, scientific and technological development of the countries where they operated as opposed to being attracted by profitability incentives, governments’ inputs and the demand for favourable business environment.
Higher Education Minister Professor Nkandu Luo has stated that the private sector in developing countries have not contributed much in activities that are critical to National Development and in particular towards science, technology transfer as well as harnessing innovation. They are more interested in getting incentives to their benefit. They continue to ship away resources from the developing countries to their countries instead of supporting national skills development.
Speaking when she made interventions at the United Nations (UN) Economic Social Council (ECOSOC)’s Science, Technology and Innovation Forum (STI) in New York, Prof Luo stressed the need for greater emphasis on corporate responsibility on the part of the private sector. An analysis of the activities private sector activities in most countries is painting of schools, digging boreholes or construction of small clinics which only require very minimal resources.
Prof Luo stated that Zambia has been lagging behind in achieving gender equality in science, technology and innovation because the female gender is largely inhibited and limited by cultural biases. The rural areas are even further disadvantaged. She explained that cultural biases in developing countries had limited women and girls to non-difficult professions; a culture she emphasized needed to be broken. “It would be important for the developing countries to enact policies that would attract women to take up scientific and technological positions. I think it should start at home and there is a greater need to educate young girls about the past achievements of their gender,” she said. This is why the revised Higher Education Policy on Higher Education in Zambia is addressing on how best to address such issues.
The Zambia Higher Education Minister made a clarion call to developing countries to begin to focus on the determinants of health rather than focusing on drug prescriptions, on prevention of diseases as well as improve nutrition under the umbrella of universal health care.
“A holistic approach would be required to mobilise synergies across the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Science and Research institutions in developing countries should be supported with adequate financial resources in order to bolster local research outcomes, she said.
Prof Luo was in New York for the Multi-Stakeholder Forum on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which explored the potential of science and technology in solving global development challenges.
There is global universal consensus with regard to the means of implementation for Sustainable Development, that science, technology and innovation are the undisputable fulcrum in pivoting global development goals.
Prof Luo was accompanied to the 2017 UN ECOSOC Science Technology Innovation Forum by Mulungushi University Vice Chancellor Helicy Ng’ambi, Prof Imasiku Nyambe, coordinator of integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM), from UNZA and Copperbelt University lecturer Dr Felix Kalaba.