Dr. Maxwell Otim Onapa is a Biomedical Scientist who is currently the Director of Science, Research and Innovation at the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation.
Prior to joining the ministry, Dr. Otim was the Deputy Executive Secretary for Uganda National Council for Science and Technology (UNCST) from 2006 to 2019. He also worked as a Research Officer at the National Agricultural Research Organization (NARO) between 1993 and 2006. During his career with NARO, Dr. Otim conducted research on infectious zoonotic diseases including bird flu, and published several research articles in high impact peer-reviewed international journals. Dr. Otim, therefore, has an accumulated experience of over 12 years as a scientific researcher.
Dr. Otim originally obtained a Bachelor of Veterinary Medicine Degree from Makerere University, Kampala in 1992; a Master of Science Degree from the Free University of Berlin, Germany in 1999, and a Ph.D. from the Royal Veterinary and Agricultural University, Denmark in 2005. He also holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) Degree from the Eastern and Southern Africa Management Institute (ESAMI) where he won a leadership award in 2009. In 2015, Dr. Otim graduated with a Diploma in African Leadership in ICT Management and Knowledge Society, and a Professional Development Certificate in African Leadership in ICT from Dublin City University and the Global e-Schools and Communities Initiative respectively. Dr. Otim has a deep knowledge of approaches and tools such as change management and planning tools such as futures thinking and fore sighting that use horizon scanning, signals and trends, futures wheel and scenario building to facilitate planning and policy development.
Among other roles, Dr. Otim served as the Vice-Chair of the United Nations Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD) of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), a position to which he was elected in Geneva in May 2015. He is also a member of the Governing Council of the Atomic Energy Council (AEC), a Uganda government Agency mandated to regulate the use of ionizing radiation in Uganda. Dr. Otim is also the lead negotiator on Climate Technology for Uganda at the UNFCCC Conference of Party.
Dr. Otim is a member of the doctoral committees and an examiner in Colleges of Makerere University where he also supervises students and serves as a member of the Governing Board of Makerere University Press. He is also the Coordinator of the European Commission and African Union supported Information Society in Africa (IST- Africa) Initiative.
Dr. Otim is passionate about translating result into policy and product, as well as promoting the use of ICT as a tool for facilitating the development of STI.