New Vision (Kampala)

5 July 2012

Africa: Uganda Tops in Advanced Innovation Technology

Uganda has been ranked among the top three countries with advanced technological and innovation capabilities in Africa, according to a study conducted by Martin Prosperity Institute of the U.S. Uganda is second to South Africa and followed by Madagascar.

ICT minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda attributed Uganda's success on Universities and other tertiary institutions, which had engaged fully in information technology.

Globally, Uganda is among the 82 world nations which have advanced technological and innovation capabilities. The rest of African countries were not ranked for lack of data to measure the relative standing on technology, innovation, human capital and other measures of economic competitiveness.

The principal authors of this study, Charlotta Mallander and Kevin Stolarick recognized that technology played great role in economic progress.

When New vision contacted ICT minister Rugunda, he hailed Universities and other tertiary institutions.

"Government's policy towards ICT is also good. Accessing internet is at low cost. The ministry is trying increase more infrastructure in this sector," Rugunda added.

He revealed that currently most foreign investors were interested in investing in ICT sector.

"Government is also determined to encourage more innovations. President Museveni has started innovation firms. Our challenge now is to ensure that every region in this country access internet at a low cost," he explained.

Peter Wakholi official from ITC ministry also said, "Uganda excelled because of involving young people in ITC projects, who are committed to explore every opportunity."

He however advised Government that innovations should be the first priority in every sector of the economy.

The research which was released on Wednesday also focused on how each country was performing in terms of research and development investment, scientific and engineering research and the level of innovation.

Israel takes top in research and development investment; followed by Sweden, Fin land, Japan and Switzerland. USA is sixth position. In Global technology index assessment; Finland takes the top spot, followed by Japan and Israel.

The research also shows that Finland was ranked the best in Scientific and engineering research. It was followed by Sweden, Japan, Singapore and Denmark.

The study pointed out that Israel had persistently pursued an economic development strategy based on launching innovative firms.

"Israel has the highest concentration of engineers in the world. 135 per 10,000 people are engineers compared to 85 per 10,000 people in the United States," the study stated.

Though China, Brazil and India did not feature among the first five top nations, the research acknowledges that they are growing rapidly and they make up a substantial share of the world economy.

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