Its mandate is to provide an enabling and conducive environment for the application and utilization of Science, Technology and Innovation for sustainable socio-economic development of the country.
The functions of the Department of Science and Technology are to:
- Formulate and review policies and the legal framework in the field of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI);
- Act as a focal point for developing and maintaining international cooperation in STI
- Act as a link between national S&T institutions and the responsible Ministry.
- Provide national policy guidance and direction on all STI and Research and Development (R&D) matters in Malawi;
Ministerial and sectoral policies
The main policy for Science, Technology and Innovation is the Science and Technology Policy (2002) which is currently being reviewed. The Policy is supported by the Science and Technology Act (2003).
The Policy is clearly linked to the following policies: National Forestry Policy (1996), National Youth Policy (1999), Wildlife Policy (2000), National Irrigation Policy (2000), National Fisheries and Aquaculture Policy (2001), National Energy Policy (2003), National HIV and AIDS Policy (2003), National Environmental Policy (2004), National Water Development Policy (2004), National Food Security Policy (2008), National Biotechnology and Biosafety Policy (2008), National Nutrition Policy (2008) and National Sanitation Policy (2006).
Projects and programmes
- Increase public understanding and participation in STI through organizing sensitisation workshops, science camps, career talks in schools
- Increase capacity to conduct research through conducting training sessions for researchers and provision of incentives
- Development of STI country profile, review of S&T policy and Act through Go-Spin Project funded by UNESCO
- Development of STI indicators through the ASTII project funded by NEPAD
- Participation in international fora (SADC region) to develop SADC STI Strategic Plan, Draft SADC Women in Science, Engineering and Technology (WISET) Charter and Draft SADC STI Climate Change Framework and Implementation Plan. These documents will be presented to Ministers responsible for STI for their adoption in Mozambique in June, 2014.
- Participation in international fora (African Continent) to develop Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA) 2024, Draft Statutes for the establishment of the African Observatory for Science, Technology and Innovation (AOSTI), Pan African Intellectual Property Organisation (PAIPO) and African Scientific Research and Innovation Council (ASRIC). These documents will be presented to Heads of States and Governments for their adoption during their meeting in June, 2014.