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Daniel Daniel Nivagara

MOZAMBIQUE - Telecoms & IT

Daniel Daniel Nivagara

Minister, Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education


Daniel Nivagara has been Minister of Science, Technology, and Higher Education since November 24, 2020. He was born on March 4, 1971, in Ionge, Maquival, Quelimane district, in the province of Zambézia. He is the son of Daniel Nivagara, an assistant in the Republic of South Africa, and Victória Mugoma Madeira, a housekeeper, both deceased. He attended primary school at Ionge Primary School in Maquival, completing his studies in 1981. He then attended secondary school at 25 de Setembro Secondary School in the city of Quelimane, graduating in 1988. He entered higher education at the Pedagogical Institute of Maputo, where he obtained his bachelor’s degree in 1995. He continued his studies at the University of Nantes in France, earning a master’s degree in 2001 and a doctorate in 2007. He is a university lecturer by profession and was a staff member at the Pedagogical University of Maputo from 1995 until November 2020. During this time, he served as Head of the Basic Education Department from 2004 to 2008. He then rose to the position of Dean of the Faculty from 2008 to 2017. In addition to the aforementioned activities, Daniel Nivagara has been a lecturer at public and private educational institutions. He has coordinated undergraduate and postgraduate courses, supervised dissertations, and doctoral theses, and coordinated scientific events such as conferences and seminars.

"We plan to train 100 researcher-teachers in research project development, with a particular focus on young people and women."
TBY talks to Daniel Daniel Nivagara, Mozambique’s Minister of Science, Technology and Higher Education, about priorities for the ministry, artificial intelligence, and improving computer skills in the country.
Within the framework of the government’s five-year program, what are your fundamental priorities based upon which your Ministry operates?

Our activities are part of the government’s five-year 2020-2024 program, which has the central objective of improving the country’s socio-economic growth. And within the framework of this program, our Ministry is working on two fundamental priorities and a pillar defined in the government’s channel program. The first priority is developing human capital and social justice. The second priority concerns boosting economic growth, productivity, and income generation. And the pillar on which we operate within the government’s five-year programs is the promotion of good governance and decentralization. Based on this, we have developed a set of activities regarding human capital training, through our higher education institutions, to guarantee access and equity, and distribution of training opportunities for everyone. Naturally, through scientific research, we have been active in ensuring that arising scientific and technological solutions can boost the productive sector and thus increase income, while at the same time capitalizing on young people to increase their employability. The greatest contribution has been made through information and communication technologies via the modernization of public administration, promoting the use of a more secure and resilient Internet and expanding to various public sector institutions, at the central and provincial level. There is a series of accesses and accessibility to information that the districts, the population in general, now have, without the need to physically visit the various institutions. Digital platforms, web pages, and other digital services once used to issue documentation in the public administration, today improves the provision of public services.

How has ICT contributed to innovation in Mozambique, and what are some examples of ICT innovations highlighted by the Ministry?

In terms of ICT, there’s been significant innovation. For instance, we have innovations in the development of digital platforms facilitating product buying and selling, business management, among other areas. It is inspiring to see young people innovating by leveraging technological solutions. Through these technological solutions, we have the potential to increase employability and enhance the productive sector with new service platforms. Our ultimate goal is to continually foster an environment conducive to promoting innovation across all sectors. Through our national science and technology park company, which includes a technological innovation center, young people presenting ideas in the ICT field are incubated for technological solution development. The idea is to contribute to driving economic growth, productivity, and job creation. Innovations crucially lead to increased production and enhanced business competitiveness, while nurturing the individual potential of young people. I am confident that innovation across all sectors, whether in ICT, agro-processing, healthcare, and trade, for example, is incredibly important. And when we focus on information and communication technologies, we are talk of alignment with the concepts of digital governance and the digital economy.

Mozambique has been actively engaged in sharing best practices on ethics in AI with other African countries. What measures is the government taking to ensure responsible AI use?

Mozambique is one of the eight countries selected by UNESCO to undergo a diagnostic assessment of preparedness regarding ethics in AI. This indicates our country’s strong commitment to adopting artificial intelligence as a crucial tool for revolutionizing both the economy and society. We have developed our own roadmap for AI development, which includes the formulation of a national AI strategy. We are actively sharing experiences and lessons learned with various countries, both in Africa and Europe. Naturally, this communication with various countries also helps us identify the necessary policies, strategies, and programs to be developed in our country regarding AI. Considering the importance of data protection laws as a crucial prerequisite for the adoption of AI, we have been preparing and are close to finalizing a data protection law. Additionally, we have established a national commission for AI that includes various sectors such as government entities, the private sector, academia, and non-governmental organizations. It’s imperative for us that AI usage be responsible, transparent, and beneficial for our nation. We view AI as a potential tool for generating innovations and startups, and we believe that our country should leverage this potential, always ensuring ethical usage for the benefit of humanity and society.

 What are the future plans for the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education?

In terms of higher education, our focus remains on human capital development and social equity. Our goal is to continue awarding scholarships while ensuring the evaluation and accreditation of 150 undergraduate and postgraduate courses for those outside the higher education sector. Additionally, we plan to provide 5,000 computers to students, primarily those from low-income backgrounds, through our “One Computer per Higher Education Student” program. Furthermore, we will establish another reference center specifically for Polytechnic education, located at the Songo Polytechnic Higher Education Institute. Moreover, we intend to train 100 educators in educational innovation, particularly focusing on the rising use of information and communication technologies in higher education. We’ll also conduct inspection sessions in 41 higher education institutions to assess their readiness for effective operation. Additionally, we aim to train approximately 112 administrators in our unified academic registry system, facilitating data integration and access across higher education institutions. In driving economic growth, productivity, and income generation, we aim to strengthen our governance framework for science, technology, and innovation by approving the policy and strategy for science, technology, and innovation. We also plan to enact a science and technology law and establish a national scientific repository to showcase the scientific potential of all higher education and research institutions. Moreover, we aim to fund 20 scientific research projects, particularly those with the potential to provide innovative solutions for improving production or quality of life. We plan to train 100 researcher-teachers in research project development, with a particular focus on young people and women. Furthermore, we are actively participating in an African strategy for Genomic editing, training Mozambican scientists in genomic editing techniques to generate new solutions for combating drought, pests, and diseases. Meanwhile, in terms of good governance and decentralization, we aim to empower 450 girls in ICT programming. We have initiated coding camps for girls to develop their programming skills, including robotics, digital intelligence, AI, and IoT, enabling them to generate web programming solutions. We also plan to train 113 ICT staff and create 12,000 institutional email accounts to facilitate communication. Additionally, we’ll establish four cyber incident response centers as part of our national cyber incident response model, ensuring data protection in cyberspace. We’ll expand the GovNET dedicated internet network to six more districts and implement the Government’s certification authority to enable digital signatures. The operationalization of the Mozambique digital certification system is expected in the second semester. With the support of the Italian Cooperation Agency, we will establish a digital excellence hub in Maputo Province, where young people will be trained to develop innovative initiatives based on ICT and generate technological solutions. Furthermore, as part of enhancing our legal framework, we aim to pass the cybercrime law and cybersecurity law, along with hosting our national artificial intelligence conference. These are some of the initiatives we aim to accomplish by the end of 2024.



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