President Museveni has given the green light to an annual allocation of Shs500 billion aimed at catalyzing technological innovations in Uganda.
The President, addressing innovators, officials, and investors during the National Science Week at Kololo Ceremonial Grounds, endorsed tax exemptions for products from emerging local innovators.
Museveni, emphasizing the government’s commitment, encouraged proposals for utilizing the fund and assured additional support beyond the allocated amount.
The President’s announcement came in response to presentations by Dr. Monica Musenero, the Minister for Science, Technology, and Innovation, and Finance Minister Matia Kasaija, outlining challenges hindering local innovation progress.
Museveni affirmed continuous government support for innovation, expressing willingness to address funding shortfalls and obstructive interference.
Finance Minister Kasaija proposed the creation of a dedicated fund for science and technology, safeguarded from cuts or additions without proper consultation.
Dr. Musenero, citing funding gaps affecting research and innovation, welcomed the prospect of a Shs500 billion annual allocation, envisioning it as a catalyst to attract further venture capital and investor funding.
In an interview, Dr. Musenero highlighted the critical role of minimal funding, indicating that innovators often require modest amounts, ranging from Shs200-500 million, to initiate pilot projects.
She emphasized that with government support, investors, armed with $5 billion, are poised to contribute significantly to the country’s innovation landscape.
On allegations of corruption leveled against her, Dr. Musenero sought President Museveni’s intervention, dismissing the accusations as baseless and aimed at sabotage.
The President pledged to address false accusations, labeling saboteurs as the real threat.