Swaziland, in the National Development Strategy (NDS), aspires to achieve development through investments in science, technology, and innovation (STI). However, using innovation to uplift the country from poverty and tackle economic growth requires investment in research and experimental development (R&D), human capital development, and the establishment of relevant institutions and governing bodies to direct scientific and technological development which are currently missing. Due to low investments in innovation and R&D, the lack of funding sources, absence of a national STI strategy and R&D agenda, and low collaboration between institutions, the country is struggling to propel STI-driven development.
As a result, Swaziland is largely a consumption-based economy, with high imports and low exports, and the domestic industry is underdeveloped. The implication is that as economies grow and become more competitive, Swaziland will continue to remain behind. Hence, to use STI to drive social and economic development the country needs to affirm this concession by developing a national STI strategy. Establishing a Ministry of Science, Technology, and Innovation would enhance the coordination of STI activities and manage the funding and implementation of STI policies.Download PDF