Gbarpolu County Senator and Senate President Pro Tempore, Armah Zolu Jallah, has submitted to Senate plenary for passage into law a bill calling for the establishment of a science and technology institute in Liberia.
According to Pro Tempore Jallah, the Bill titled Liberia Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) Act, calls for the establishment of the Institute which, when established, will be operated as an autonomous agency.
Its purpose is to support human capacity, economic and social development through science and technology.
“LIST shall be an independent legal entity and shall engage in activities aimed at improving science and technology in Liberia, in accordance with provisions of the Act,” Senator Jallah said.
He is confident that a science and technology education program supported by the Government of Liberia will undertake fundamental research conducted by foreign and private research institutions, universities, and colleges. This will be essential to the country’s national security, health and economic welfare and to the quality of life of citizens.
He observed that the country’s lack of public education programs specifically focused on building human capacity in science and technology in Liberia has resulted in the limited supply of trained professionals to contribute to national development.
Liberia’s capacity to conduct high research and position itself at the forefront of modern science “is hindered by inadequate research facilities and equipment and by lack of resources to build, renovate or replace laboratories.”
Among the objectives of the bill, Pro Tempore Jallah noted, is to put science and technology education at all academic levels, all branches of science, including mathematics, physics, health, engineering, medicine, environment, technology, biology and geosciences.
Through this legislation, students will be awarded scholarships and graduate fellowships for study in research in the sciences, engineering and technology.
The Gbarpolu Lawmaker further said that when passed into law, LIST will conduct and promote practical and market building scientific and technology-based research in areas that are relevant for industrialization and socioeconomic advancement of Liberia by creating new products and services that improve the quality of life of Liberians.
The bill is co-sponsored by Senators Sando Johnson and Geraldine Doe-Sherif, and was voted on to be sent to the appropriate Senate committee for further action.