Over the last couple of decades there have been tremendous developments in innovation through science and technology. It is well known fact that these two are the key drivers for such developments. For instance, through research, diseases have been better understood creating an avenue of new drug discoveries and treatment options with advancing technology.
Whereas the developed world has made most of these advances, the developing world is yet to, not because they cannot but due to a combination of factors from lack of resources to proper infrastructure in a background of absent early mentorship into the field of science. Thus in order for the developing world to make an impact and contribute to the field of science, a deliberate effort should be made by both the policy makers and individuals to invest in quality scientific mentorship programs for emerging scientists.
As a people, we do not invest enough in research and development. The share of higher education students enrolled in science and engineering is too low. Furthermore, women comprise less than one-third of researchers and even fewer scientists and engineers. Women are at least half of our talent pool, and progress is impossible without their full participation at every level.
The industrial revolution largely passed Africa by; the continent now needs to keep pace with the rest of the world, to avoid being left behind in today's technological advances.
This starts with a change in our mindset. We really cannot be satisfied with just ending poverty, YES Zambia's aim is shared and sustainable prosperity.
And the key to this is science and innovation bound by research. Technology and skills are the lifeblood of economic growth and competitiveness, and investments in the necessary education and infrastructure – including broadband – must continue.
The problem is not only insufficient numbers of science and technology professionals being produced – but too often those produced waste their talents in unconducive environments.