Tonderai Rutsito
African countries should use science and technology to research on new sources of food, a senior Government official has said. Higher and Tertiary Education Minister Oppah Muchinguri told delegates to the recently ended two-day UNESCO Asia-Africa consultation on sustainability science to support the post-2015 agenda that science is crucial for poverty reduction, clean water and new energy forms to support the Sustainable Development Goals agenda. She added that there was need to turn the country’s knowledge base into practical solutions.

“We are very proud as a nation that the literacy rate is above 90 percent, but that knowledge should be converted to into practice, there is need for increasing scientific literacy, we need to develop a market-oriented curriculum through research of new technologies, African governments, scientists and communities therefore need to look ahead with foresight in order to plan and prepare adequately for emerging development challenges and opportunities,” said Minister Muchinguri.

She added that for sustainable development, policy makers, governments and scientists should join hands in harnessing science and technological innovations.

The minister postulated that harnessing science and technology innovation is key to sustainable development.

Speaking during the same summit, the regional director and representative UNESCO for Southern Africa, Professor Hubert Gijzen, spoke on the need to embrace science and technology in order to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), as they are the cornerstone of development.

“Although MDGs do not take account of science, nine of the 17 goals are actually based on science and technology and these are crucial components in the 21st century.

“Science flourishes through dialogue and co-operation hence the need for member states to incorporate them,” he said.

Delegates to the two-day meeting resolved that there was need to look into new forms of food sources as insects like caterpillars which are drought resistant and have been suggested as reliable substitutes. It was also proposed that industry should be linked to learning institutions so that research and development will be tandem with challenges in the economy.

◆ The writer is the editor for TechnoMag, Zimbabwe’s premier technology magazine. More in-depth from www.technomag.co.zw on http://technom.ag/dg follow us on Twitter at TechnoMagZw. Follow us on www.facebook.com/technomagzw http://www.facebook.com/technomagzw.