AYFST Uganda (UYASTI)
“The limited input of science and technology (S&T) to development has led to wide disparities between the poor and the rich in Uganda and there is no way Africa and, Uganda, in particular, can attain a booming economy without the utilization of S&T.” Engineer Sam Ssenkungu, the Ugandan commissioner of Industry and Technology, said during the launch of the Uganda Youth Association for Science, Technology and Innovation (UYASTI) in Kampala.
After the formation of the African Youth Forum on Science and Technology (AYFST) at the second African Regional Youth congress in Accra, Ghana, Ugandan youth participants at the congress formed the Ugandan Youth Association for Science Technology and Innovation (UYASTI) with an aim to bring AYFST closer to the Ugandan youth and to empower them through science, technology & innovation for wealth creation and employment.
The Ugandan national chapter aims to empower the Ugandan youth through science, technology & innovation for wealth creation and employment.
One of the objectives of this chapter is to build the capacity of Ugandan youth through training, information sharing, networking and dialogue in relevant topical and developmental issues. It also strives to promote youth participation in policy formulation and implementation processes at all levels concerning agriculture science, technology and innovation for development. In addition, it aims at promoting a culture of science, technology and it aims at promoting a culture of science, technology and innovation among the Ugandan youth as well as youth-led, demand-driven research and development initiatives in agriculture, science, technology and innovation.
The association has a management committee headed by the chairperson. Members are involved in several ST&I activities such as exhibitions & ST&I contests. Remarkably, the association has been able to create a number of linkages with a number of key sector actors both locally and internationally like UNCST, UNAS, and NARO. The programme has an advisory council headed by the ATPS national coordinator. AYFST Uganda chapter has on several occasions been invited in a number of conferences for presentations and knowledge sharing.
Major challenges to scientific talent development include; identifying ways to make science attractive and accessible to young people, and generating a research climate in Uganda. Research allows creativity, innovation and open communication, free flows of ideas, knowledge and talents. Like many other sub-Saharan countries young people in Uganda are faced with society’s lack of confidence in youth scientific endeavors. This is accompanied by the lack of access to adequate resources to facilitate the smooth operationalisation and effective performance of the AYFST Uganda chapter.
Future plans include training AYFST members in enterprise development based on science and technology approaches. This training will cover all aspects of gender and enterprise development, as well as the upgrading of their technical abilities to transmit their knowledge effectively to community partners. UYASTI also plans to promote the development of ideas into practice and commercialization of youth generated products. Its members will liaise with relevant national institutions in measures to boost sales, produce trade publications, business guides and sales procedures. They will also organise and publicize public auctions to provide market access for products generated by the youth. UYASTI also plans to enhance networking to provide linkages with organisations and institutions working in the areas of science and technology. The chapter also aims to track progress by implementing an effective monitoring and evaluation strategy and carry out regular visits to all project activities to report on progress.