The growth in the number of entities promoting science and technology (S&T) in Africa is an indication that the continent is beginning to appreciate the importance of S&T, Zambian experts have said.

The experts assert that the proliferation and diversity of science technology engineering and mathematics (STEM) oriented organizations is good for the development and growth of STEM fields in a country provided the respective organizations realize that rather than competing as they are all working together for a common and noble cause.

Business24

Lately, Zambia has seen a rise in the number of organizations promoting STEM at different levels as well as fields. Lack of information, exposure and visibility of STEM fields in the past is said to have led to this development.

“This has also been the trend in Rwanda, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Ghana. It seems the increase in the number of entities advancing STEM is proportional to the number of science and technology innovations coming out of those countries. It is expected that each organisation will have a particular strength and emphasize one or a few of the many STEM fields. For example, some will be more concerned with championing computer programming, others in climate-smart agriculture, robotics, basic biological or chemical techniques,” explained Stephen Manchishi, a Bio-scientist.

Manchishi further implored the corporate world to support these initiatives, which he said are aimed at supplementing government efforts in promoting science and technology on the continent.

Zambia National STEM Foundation asserted that the increase in the number of entities supporting science and technology is an indication that more people are beginning to appreciate the crucial role of science and tech in development.

Foundation President Michelo Moonga pointed out that the world is moving at a very fast pace and those that refuse to move with times risk remaining in poverty because of the insistence to apply tools that may be considered obsolete.

“Reports indicate that 75 percent of the fastest growing occupations require STEM skills, 40 percent of current jobs will no longer exist in the future and 71 percent of global employers agree that their STEM employees are the most innovative. Therefore, we cannot help but emphasize the need to encourage more investment in this area,” Moonga said.

And an Information Technology specialist said technological inventions and innovations present some of the most lucrative opportunities particularly for young and enterprising minds in Africa.

Chipo Gusha Majele, who is Information Systems Audit and Control Association-Zambia Chapter president, said science and technology has continued to determine as well as shape development the world over.

“Young people should take advantage of the gaps existing in the tech sphere and design products and services that speak to people’s needs. Africa and indeed the world at large needs more techpreneurs,” Majele said. Enditem

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