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UN says ASTIEF to spur African development

The director of ICT, Science and Technology Division at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) Aida Opoku-Mensah has indicated that the newly formed African Science, Technology and Innovation Endowment Fund (ASTIEF) will get Africa out of poverty because it will help operationalise scientific research and ideas.

Speaking at the recently concluded African conference on science in Ethiopia’s capital of Addis Ababa, Opoku-Mensah says that Africa’s major hinderance to development is lack of funds to turn research ideas into viable commercial products.

Aida Opoku-Mensah

Aida Opoku-Mensah

The fund which was formed to motivate African inventors and innovators and spur sustainable economic development through funding the formation of sustainable industries and enterprises will support enterprising individuals, research and development centers and help link them to industries.

According to Opoku-Mensah, the fund which will be managed by UNECA has already received US$500,000 from African organizations.

Africa seems to be on the right track in using science to spur development. Uganda government recently allocated more funds for science and technology in the 2010/11 National Budget. The budget also increased the salaries of scientists by 30 percent.

Solomon Akugizibwe, Ultimate Media

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