EXPERTS in socio-economic development say that the current environment of free market and globalization depends on the efficiency with which firms and nations use existing knowledge, and on the speed with which they produce and put in use new knowledge to ever dynamically innovate.
They say this is of critical importance to Africa as the continent embarks on structural transformation towards strengthening capabilities for adding value to its abundant natural resources and thereby achieve sustained growth and generate adeq uate and decent employment for its people.
Today Africa is losing out in terms of desperately needed j obs by exp orting its natural resources unprocessed or only semi-processed. There is no way Africa can reverse this trend if is not ready to invest in knowledge.
With the rapid technological change and automation that is currently taking place elsewhere in the world, Africa will remain behind if it doesn't take deliberate measures to invest in knowledge.
Nations and firms that will survive in the transformed world are those that will invest in knowledge generation and ever dynamically innovate.
For countries such as Tanzania, investment in knowledge is of paramount importance for the production of new and improved products and processes.
This is produced through research that is largely in the field of natural and engineering science, as exp erts say.
What is needed is for Tanzania to build the capacity in innovation and development research so as to produce relevant statistics and knowledge that informs STI (Science, Technology and Innovation) policies that can have impact on people's lives.
The concept of innovation is dynamic - in the sense that models around it have always been slightly changing - along with socio-economic environment facing different countries at different times. Time has come for Tanzania and other African countries to make change.
We cannot afford to wait. It is the duty of each of us. We have to try and be part of the change. We have to be the change itself.