The Speaker of Parliament, Rt. Hon. Rebecca Kadaga has called on Ugandan leaders and citizens to pay attention to research and innovation, as means of leading the country to steady progress and middle-income status.
"Ugandans are not well informed about the innovations developed here, we should therefore, find a way of marketing our own products and innovations," she said.
Kadaga made these remarks during the Opening of Farmer's Market Business Summit (FMBS), which was held at Uganda Industrial Research Institute (UIRI), in Nakawa on Friday 24th February 2017.
The Speaker told the Summit that she was surprised at the many products and innovations she had seen while attending the Famers Expo which was organized by Vision Group at Nambole Stadium last weekend, and hence called upon Ugandans to support these innovations because many Ugandans have spent a lot of money on importing foreign made products like cars and mobile phones which could also be manufactured in Uganda.
"If we don't support our economy, we shall continue to be underdogs in the east Africa community," she said.
The Speaker was, prior to her speech, taken on a tour around the Institute to see the different technologies that they had developed. She then promised to send the Committee on Science and Technology to visit the Institute in order to see these innovations and report to the house so as to generate debate, and see how Parliament could support the Institute to boost their work.
Speaking at the same summit, Hon. Anthony Akol (Kilak North County), the Treasurer of the Uganda Parliamentarians Forum on Food Security Population and Development expressed concern at how Ugandans have failed to discover the many products that are manufactured locally, therefore He told the Summit participants that there was urgent need to alert people and also market local products.
"I have realized today that we if we take the innovations to the public, we could reduce on the level of importation." he said.
Professor Charles kwesigwa, the Managing Director of the Institute asked Government to increase the funds allocated to the institute and also called on the Members of Parliament to consider this increment in funding during the budgeting process.
He further told the Summit that in 2013, UIRI was recognised as a center of excellence in East Africa, and also internationally for the breakthrough technologies therein.
The Summit was organized and supported by the Uganda Parliamentarians Forum on Food Security. The Secretariat of this forum is composed of, Hon. Abbas Agaba (Chairperson), Veronica Bichetero (Vice Chairperson), John Bagole Ngobi (General Secretary), Anthony Akol (Treasurer), and Maureen Lanyero (Publicity Secretary). The other MPs representing regions include; Hon. Jessica Ababiku (Northern), Florence Namayanja (Central), Winnie Matsiko (Western) and David Waboya (Eastern).
The Farmer's Market Business Summit (FMBS) was started in order to orient community leaders in areas of value addition and to enable them adopt to modern technologies in Uganda. It is intended to help community farmers transform from subsistence to commercial farming.
Source: Parliament of Uganda