The Gates Foundation and U.S government institutions have pledged to support Uganda’s health, science and technology innovations.
Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) is the cornerstone for human development and economic progress, according to Hon. Dr. Elioda Tumwesigye, the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, who led a Ugandan delegation to US.
He said the promised investment will achieve for Ugandans better health, adequate and more nutritious food, more jobs and higher household income, better climate adaptation as well as overall social and economic transformation.
Tumwesigye, the Executive Secretary of the Uganda National Council for Science and Technology (UNCST) Dr Peter Ndemere and the Head of Research and Technology at UNCST, DrJulius Ecuru, visited Washington D.C., Boston & Cambridge in these State of Massachusetts as well as Seattle in the State of Washington.
The delegation visited more than 20 institutions and met and held discussions with more than 35 senior officials and staff of U.S. Government and Non-Government agencies and other institutions.
The Bill and Belinda Gates Foundation already supports projects in Uganda worth more than US$ 40m.
The Hon. Minister held a special meeting with Mr. Bill Gates, the Founder and Chairman of the Gates Foundation at the headquarters of Global Good/Intellectual Ventures, an Institution supported by the Gates Foundation.
In the meeting the Minister expressed Uganda’s appreciation for the Gates Foundation’s support to Uganda especially in health research, agricultural research, nutrition, family planning and financial inclusion.
He also appreciated Gates Foundation’s Global programs targeting the low income countries including Uganda to improve immunization, health diagnostics, contraceptive technology as well as HIV, Malaria and TB control.
Mr. Bill Gates praised the ingenuity of Ugandan scientists and young innovators, especially in areas of ICT, crop breeding and nutritional enhancement.
He said that when he learnt of the threat to food security posed by the Banana Bacterial Wilt disease in Uganda, he funded the Ugandan Scientists to develop the disease resistant banana variety.
He pledged continued support to Uganda’s researchers and innovators as well as the country’s health programs.
The Minister also met and held talks with Ambassador Jimmy Kolker, the Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The Ambassador recognised Uganda as a leader in managing epidemics, including HIV/AIDS and Ebola.
The Hon Minister and the delegation visited the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and met with the NIH Director, Dr. Francis Collins and other officials including Dr. Fauci of NIAID and Dr. Roger Glass, head of Forgarty Program among others.
The meeting with Dr Collins discussed the bilateral science and research support, where more Ugandan scientists would be trained at the NIH.
Dr. Peter Ndemere, the Executive Secretary of UNCST and Dr. Francis Collins, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the training of more Ugandans in biomedical research and product development.