The National Commission for Science and Technology of the Republic of Malawi (NCST) is one of the science granting councils that has been participating in the Science Granting Councils Initiative for Sub-Saharan Africa. This programme has been instrumental in developing capacities of science granting councils across programme areas of intervention.
For the National Commission for Science and Technology, the SGCI programme has provided capacity in research management; developing and nurturing co-operation agreements with fellow science granting councils and other players in research, science, technology and innovation; developing statistics in research, science, technology and innovation; and in cultivating effective networking in science, technology and innovation space.
While the above have been some of the key capacity areas that NCST has benefitted in, the SGCI has, in phase two, particularly supported the management of collaborative research projects in agriculture biotechnology and renewable energy, and committed to the facilitation of the production of policy briefs and a documentary of all the funded projects under SGCI as a means of knowledge translation and dissemination of research evidence and results.
The support of the SGCI to NCST has yielded another dimension of positive impact on funding for research, science, technology and innovation in Malawi. NCST has leveraged on the funding by SGCI as a tool for enhancing its advocacy and lobbying for Government of Malawi Treasury funding. Joining the continuous efforts of the NCST Director General and the Board, the Ministers of Education and Health that presided over the launch of the projects funded by SGCI undertook to utilize the launch platform to lobby with central government for the financing of the Science and Technology Fund that was already established under the Science and Technology Act No.16 of 2003. Appreciating the funding by SGCI and the potential of the funded projects, Government for the first time approved the financing of the Science and Technology Fund for the advancement of science and technology in Malawi. Thus, the financing of the Fund has already begun from the current 2021/22 financial year. With its S&T Fund operational, NCST has now scheduled a number of calls. Acting as a catalyst and a springboard, the funding and capacity development support by the SGCI have fundamentally leveraged NCST to unlock further funding for the advancement of research, science, technology and innovation in Malawi.
For more information, contact:
Mike Kachedwa, NCST, Malawi