The West African Council for Science, Technology and Development Centre (WASTDC) has been established in Banjul to undertake tasks on related problems in collaboration with other West African countries.

According to Riaz Mirza, a businessman and the vice president of the executive committee of the WASTDC, the centre will establish a network in and around West Africa to take up problems in science, technology and development in collaboration with other west African countries. He noted that the centre will have close interaction with universities, and research and development institutions to acquire relevant data and information on issues relating to science and technology policy and development. He added that the centre will also provide training for scholars and government functionaries from West Africa and other developing countries in science and technology policy, and organise seminars and conferences on technology and economic development and social change with the support of governments, NGOs and international agencies as well as publishing quarterly update on technology and development-related issues in the sub-region.

Mirza said the centre's scope of work will cover international technology transfer, application of science and technology in traditional sectors, new technology and its application in goods and services, and the establishment of computerized database on technology and industry in West Africa. Because of the wider network of the centre's activities in the sub-region, he said, it is likely to take up big projects to the tune of several millions of dollars, sponsored by international agencies and non-governmental organisations.

The Daily Observer