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[LUSAKA] The Zambia Academy of Science, launched today (16 September) in Lusaka, will promote excellence in research and strengthen the country's capacity for science-led development, says its president.

"The academy will also provide advice on specific scientific problems presented to it by the government and its agencies as well as the private sector," added Mwananyanda Lewanika in an interview with SciDev.Net.

The academy will also publish reports on scientific progress in Zambia and encouraging the media to report on research there. It will also play a role in planning and coordinating the country's science education.

According to the academy's constitution, any funds not immediately needed for a specific purpose should be used to seek new members and to help the academy participate in international scientific activities.

Lewanika said that although the academy will eventually be formalised by parliament, it would remain an independent institution.

"It will stimulate and nurture the spirit of scientific discovery and technological innovation to serve socio-economic development and contribute to regional integration," he said.

The academy's members include Zambian scientists and research institutions.

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