The National Council for Science and Technology (NCST) says the launch of the Science Granting Councils Initiative (SGCI) in southern Africa has stimulated interest among scientists in Malawi to conduct more policy-influencing research.
SGCI, launched in 2015, is working in Sub-Saharan Africa to promote research and evidence-based policies “that will contribute to economic and social development”.
The initiative provides funding to councils such as NCST which in turn provide grants to researchers who have to submit proposals. Malawi is in phase two of the initiative and already has a lot to show.
In an interview, NCST director general Elijah Wanda admitted that despite having potential, the academia in Malawi have not been so active in research and innovation creation largely due to lack of funds.
He said, so far, 12 researchers have benefited from grants, which translate to 12 projects.
Wanda said: “The grants are a push factor. We are impressed to see how scientists have responded to our call for applications and how well they are utilising the funds”. In separate interviews, some of the participating scientists called on government to have an increased allocation to science, technology and innovation to accelerate the achievement of Malawi 2063 aspirations.