Former REPOA Executive Director Professor Samweli Wangwe explained that science, technology and innovation were the engine for any country to reach middle income status.
Prof Wangwe elaborated that middle income economy was the kind of economy that depended on modern agriculture and an industrial economy.
“According to these criteria the country is still behind in terms of our agriculture as well as industries. Therefore, innovation is highly needed to boost it,” the don said.
He stressed that the country should make sure that science, technology and innovation controlled the whole system if the government wished to build a strong economy.
“Currently the government is yet to identify which kind of science and technology will be used to move the country to a middle national economy as they promise to identify it later, which is no fair,” the professor warned.
According to Wangwe, you cannot start implementing other strategies related with a middle income economy and leave behind science and technology, as this would be like moving the car without an engine. He stressed that the three things moved together.
Prof Wangwe alerted that in reaching a middle income economy innovations by individuals might not work, so an innovation system was needed insted.
He called on the government to use foreign investors to use technologies from their countries to develop local technologies instead of killing local industries.
Dr. Bitrina Diyamett, Executive Director of STRIPO, added that technology and innovation were important tools to middle income economy, hence the country should not ignore them.
“Without science and technology no one will win in a competitive market because innovation is highly needed to match with the situation,” Dr. Bitrina noted
She added that the country should set a good system which will effectively help to boost small and medium entrepreneurs (SME’s) to acquire innovative skills in operating their business.
Dr. Adam Komba from the University of Dar es Salaam explained that many countries which are middle income economies had a good science, technology and innovation system.
“The room for innovation in a middle income economy is very big; therefore, the country should create a good environment which will effectively support innovations,” he said.