Launch of the Lesotho Technology Needs Assessment Report Kicks Off Implementation of Projects on Science, Technology and Innovation for Achieving Sustainable Development
6 April 2022, Maseru – Today the Ministry of Communications, Science and Technology (MCST) launched the Technology Needs Assessment (TNA) Report for Lesotho on the last day of the three-day TNA workshop in Maseru with support from the United Nations Technology Bank for Least Developed Countries (UN Technology Bank) and Commonwealth Secretariat. The MCST has successfully completed its technology needs assessment process through the support of the UN Technology Bank to identify gaps and technologies needed to advance sustainable development in Lesotho. The MCST will take the lead in the implementation phase and collaborate with the relevant Ministries.
The report outlined the notable progress Lesotho has made in developing and implementing science, technology and innovation (STI) policies and enhancing its national STI system. Consulted with practitioners and experts in the various sectors in Lesotho, the report highlighted a set of priority technologies that are recommended to transfer for Lesotho to improve the nation’s STI capacities. For example, one of the cross-cutting issues identified, which affects all priority sectors was limited internet access. For agriculture and food, the main issues identified were low agricultural production and productivity; for conservation, inadequate water resource data collection and management; for education, it was low infrastructure to support eLearning and ineffective technical and vocational education and training (TVET) system; and for arts, cultural and heritage; it was threatened heritage sites calling for close monitoring. Other priority sectors were health and energy.
A stakeholder workshop was conducted on the first two days of the TNA workshop prior to the launch. The stakeholder workshop brought together national and international stakeholders to share their STI related interventions, as well as explore partnership opportunities for the TNA implementation phase. The workshop enabled further reflection on the TNA findings and collectively agreed on a selection of prioritised projects for implementation.
During the launch, the following institutions, the Department of Science and Innovation of South Africa, Southern African Development Community (SADC) Executive Secretariat, Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS) Secretariat, National University of Lesotho (NUL), UN Resident Office, Commonwealth Secretariat, and UN Technology Bank, demonstrated commitment to providing support for the implementation phase. This also reaffirms the importance of coordination, collaboration, and partnership for Lesotho to achieve its development milestones, especially around STI policy implementation.
“The Technology Needs Assessment for Lesotho has been a role model for its demand-driven and country-led approaches. It is also a timely intervention for the Second National Strategic Development Plan that included a focus on the development of science, technology, and innovation capacity” Dr Taffere Tasfachew, Acting Managing Director of the UN Technology Bank highlighted. “Moreover, the Government of Lesotho has continued to own the TNA process, including its implementation of the recommendations of the report, as demonstrated by this three-day workshop. I express my heartfelt appreciation to the Ministry of Communications, Science and Technology for their full and active support provided during the technology needs assessment process.”
The Technology Needs Assessment is one of the key programmes of the UN Technology Bank that assists least developed countries to identify technologies required to meet their national development aspirations. It helps the assessed country analyse barriers and challenges hindering the acquisition, deployment and diffusion of prioritized technologies. The TNA exercise also encourages the countries to reflect on their development progress and take ownership of the assessment result and mobilise resources on the priority sectors to strengthen their national STI policies and ecosystem.
Report link: https://bit.ly/LesothoTNA
Department of Science and Technology (DST), MCST: Mr Ramakhula Ramakhula (email@example.com)
UN Technology Bank: Ms Chen-Wen Cheng (firstname.lastname@example.org)