Horizontal Transfer of Technology as a Tool for Development in South Sudan

By: Weirial Gatyiel Puok Baluang

October 17, 2013 (SSNA) — Ladies and gentlemen; I must immediately begin by saying what does the above topic mean. I would like to scratch out the word “Horizontal” and deal with “transfer of technology”

What do we mean by Horizontal or the transfer of technology? We mean handing the” KNOW-HOW” from the sources which [we] invented, discovered, or devised it, to the destination which is intended to utilize it rather than” KNOW WHO”. The definition covers local as well as inter-state transfer. That is transfer of results from a laboratory to a factory; or from a firm within the same country [South Sudan] to the user; or transferring, say a locomotive, a factory or an improved seed from one country to another.so it is less important for us as an independent state to consume the basic goods and services from neighboring countries, it is as if we are still to be an independent state. Imagine a whole country to depend on importing tomatoes and other simple basic goods from neighboring countries like the republic of Sudan and Uganda! Therefore after we become experts in producing our food alone than we must be Focusing on the local concept, to my mind, there are prerequisites for such a transfer to become effective.

FIRST: the technique must be proved valid, and this is a function of research with its attendant human and material facilities.to discourage those traders selling expired goods in different states of south Sudan as well as our capital city [JUBA]

SECOND: there must be an effective vehicle or body or organization with a trained cadre of personnel to transfer it, and this is a function of extension or salesmen, or a function for the technologist.

THIRD: it must be economically and socially acceptable to the user: and this is a function of economics and attitudes. If the technique is good and the extension service is poor, either in organization or in approach, it will remain naturally where it started. There are many examples of such situations in research institutes where beautiful work was not utilized by the user for this very reason. There are even examples of good results in as high places as universities, where the results do not find their way to the field or even to departments within the universities themselves to be in a curriculum.

On the other hand, the technique may be used and provided; the extension may be effective and strong. But because the attitude of the people has not been tested, the technique or the product remains midway, either because it is not adapted to suit the pockets or the tastes or prejudices. I venture to say, in this respect, that if this attitude is not attended to by scientists, the product does not become acceptable.to give an example. I was in Unity State last year of 2012; a high-yielding sorghum variety was devised in a research laboratory of those international organizations based in the state capital bentiu, producing about three times as much as the local variety. It was distributed to the users in the field; they used it once and never used again. The reason for this was that, it was a new variety that did not give them enough straw to build their houses so they didn’t like it; secondly; it was highly-yielding and therefore, they needed a high amount of input which they could not afford; and thirdly it did not suit their tastes; it was not as good as their own indigenous variety. The result was failure.

I bring this in order to demonstrate the very great importance of the social studies which should go hand in hand with the scientific research. Turning briefly to the transfer of technology from developed to developing countries, I shall satisfy myself by posing certain questions. What are the objectives, what are the requirements? And with this comes the question of training and its adaptability; the machines and its adaptability. Are we after sophistication? Finally, are we making use of the research service available at international and regional organization? I understand that in certain specialized agencies of research services which are being offered freely, a lot more use is being made by the developed countries than they are by the developing countries; although they are most needed in the developing countries.

Finally, there are countries having passed through the transition from the underdeveloped to a more developed stage. In addition to the financial contributions they may make, I feel they have something at least equally important to offer. Surely they must have something to tell us all about their experiences for instance on how to adapt in a critical way, technology to the various stages of development to meet prevailing conditions and then on how to assimilate improved techniques. It is clear that the republic of south Sudan which we now inhabit is rich economically and financially but we lack Technical knowhow, which is a big problem nowadays to our people in different walks of lives. To conclude my article, I want to assure the people of south Sudan that “THE ONLY WAY DEVELOPMENT IS MEANINGFUL IS WHEN IT IS DEVELOPMENT OF PEOPLE AND NOT THINGS”.

The writer is an economics student at the University of Juba. He can be reach at [email protected]

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