Dunga and Gama presenting the sponsorship to the Commission’s entourage
* Science and technology help contribute towards the country’s economic growth
* The sector provides numerous leads to the growth of any nation
* Investing in this Fund is a step in the direction towards that growth
* With necessary financial information, guidance and drive, this Fund will definitely meet all its intended goals
By Duncan Mlanjira
NICO Asset Managers has pledged to provide free advisory financial services for the successful operations of Science and Technology Fund that include advice on fund policy, investment strategy, fund governance and fund growth.
This was pledged on Wednesday by NICO Asset Managers’ Chief Investment Officer Daniel Dunga when NICO Group sponsored K2.5 million for the official launch of the Science & Technology Fund, which the National Commission for Science and Technology is set to roll off on February 23.
Dunga said investing in science and technology would help contribute towards the country’s economic growth as the sector provides numerous leads to the growth of any nation.
“Investing in this Fund is a step in the direction towards that growth and with the necessary financial information, guidance and drive, this Fund will definitely meet all its intended goals,” he said.
The sponsorship was contributed by NICO Asset Managers and NICO Technologies, whose CEO, Clarence Gama said was towards the advancement of the country’s science, technology and innovation.
He added that after NICO Group achieved the milestone of its 50th Anniversary in 2021, they “believe that technology plays a huge role in a rapidly evolving and demanding world”.
He also said NICO Technologies sees this as “the beginning of a long-term relationship that would translate into meaningful advancement in the ICT sector in Malawi”.
“We now live in a world that is constantly demanding technological solutions to modern day problem. As a leading ICT service provider in Malawi, we believe that this Fund is a milestone in the drive to find solutions to these problems,” Gama said.
He took cognizance that players in the ICT sector “have been resilient in growing the industry and it is encouraging to see that the government is in full support of these players”.
“The Government has for the first time included Science and Technology in its financial budget by appropriating K291 million to the sector. This gesture alone is very encouraging to players such as NICO Technologies.”
In her vote of thanks, vice-chairperson of the National Commission for Science and Technology, Dr. Cecilia Maliwichi-Nyirenda said the sponsorship — and the pledge of the provision of the free advisory services — represent NICO Group’s high level commitment to the cause of their vision and to the company’s core values of collaboration and innovation within the information and technology space which they will ever cherish.
“In its cause and philosophy, the Commission acknowledges that NICO Group is already collaborating with the various players on the market and beyond. The Commission is pleased to further note that through this collaboration, the company has already engaged into smart alliances with other IT service providers within and abroad.”
She added credence that “collaboration in IT service provision is one of the key elements of fostering partnership in research, science, technology and innovation within the sphere of science diplomacy”.
“Thus, the core values of NICO Group on collaboration and innovation augur quite well with the Mission of the National Commission for Science and Technology — which is to promote, support, co-ordinate and regulate the development and application of research, science, technology and innovation so as to create wealth.
“To execute this national level mandate, the Commission as a national government agency established by the Science and Technology Act No.16 of 2003, will always cultivate and nurture collaborative engagements and liaison with institutions and organisations such as NICO Technologies Ltd and NICO Asset Managers.
She explained that the Science & Technology Fund is established under section 24 of the Science and Technology Act and is geared to be applied for the purposes of financing, by way of loan or grants, any research or study carried on, by or for the benefit of persons or organizations engaged in research matters relating to the development of science and technology.
It is also targeted to financing — also by way of loans or grants — the training of citizens of Malawi for the benefit of organizations engaged in research and making awards to any person qualified for the grant under this Act.
It is to provide support for scientific research and technology development and the application of the results in compliance with the national priorities determined by the Government upon advice by the Commission.
It is also to commission the carrying out of a project by any person for any specific research which is of special importance to the nation; meeting any expenses arising from the establishment and maintenance of the Fund and any purpose which the Minister considers to be in the interest of the Objects of the Fund.
“The financial support by NICO Group towards the launch of this Fund on 23rd February is therefore, an important gesture towards popularizing and promoting the financing of this Fund at a launch platform.
“It is anticipated that the launch platform will go a long way towards stimulating the interest of a cross-section of stakeholders in various sectors of the economy to ultimately support the Fund in order to meet its Object and purposes that I mentioned earlier.
“As it has been elucidated through a number of empirical studies, the socio-economic development gap that exists between the countries of the global north and the countries of the global south is partly a reflection of the research, science, technology and innovation divide that exists between the global north and the global south.”
Sh thus applauded NICO Technologies and NICO Asset Managers for the support towards the launch, saying “any support towards the science, technology and innovation related activities is fundamental towards narrowing this divide between the global north and the global south”.
“The Commission shall always foster the letter and spirit of your collaboration and partnership with the Commission in this regard,” she said while calling upon other companies and organisations including our co-operating partners to emulate the gesture.
“The Fund requires the support of all stakeholders in order to stir Malawi forward in research, science, technology and innovation towards the attainment of MW2063.”