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Science, tech and government

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Before I engage you in this discussion, I have an observation to make. Have you noticed that the current president delivers his speeches from well bound red folder? By the time his first term expires, the state house will need a full library to accommodate all those.

Somebody tell me, can he not use a Samsung Galaxy Tab or iPad to deliver the speeches?

Not that his predecessors were any different; well, it was understandable for eighty-old Prof. Peter Mutharika. At such an age paper is justifiably more preferred to technology.

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That said, let’s get back to business; the current cabinet has no Science and Technology as a ministry. You might correctly observe that it has the Ministry of Information.

The problem is that the term ‘information’ is multifaceted. The occupant of the seat can be the spin-doctor for the executive or can be the policy maker for information, communications and technology. Former occupants of the seat have been spokespersons for government.

Science and technology is the catalyst for development and nation building. We may be an agriculture based economy but to maximize on it, our agricultural practices must clasp new technologies.

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Our industries must not be based on brick and mortar methods but on science and technology.

We need science and technology to build factories that should add value to our crops. Factories that will create the one million jobs.

Governments that came before talked highly of technology yet technology was left on the outskirts of policy.

The memory of the landmark Constitutional Court case is still flesh in our minds. Our politicians used computer technology fellows to make the evidence look glorious. When the Bendulos and Daudi Sulemanis of our time taught the AG a few lessons in Science and technology, our politicians applauded. That is now all behind us.

Don’t our politicians realize that it starts and ends with technology in this Facebook era? They do.

The problem with politicians in policy making is that they have names first and then go ahead to create enough cabinet positions for every one of them. It is for that reason whyone name gets suffixed to three portfolios. Or worse still two Ministries; one to deal with trade while the other tackles industry.

Convid-19 pandemic has taught the world that from now on, this world is not going to be the same.

There is need to employ technology in many facets of life. More people may have to work from home and reduce costs and virtual conferences will be the norm.

Technology is going to be the centre of our lives and countries must begin to make science and technology a priority. There is still hope because the VP is a tech maestro himself.

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