During 3-7 July 2017, the NRF hosted over 100 representatives of science granting councils, universities, embassies and science ministries from 18 African countries for a stakeholder engagement workshop and the Science Granting Councils Initiative in Sub-Saharan Africa Annual Regional Meeting (ARM) in Pretoria, South Africa. The workshops presents an opportunity to share experiences, network, and engage in robust discussions to support effectiveness in the implementation of science granting council mandates.
Speaking at the opening of the week, Dr Molapo Qhobela, NRF CEO remarked, “there is a great diversity in the nature, structure and mandate of SGCs on the continent. This diversity provides a rich leveraging opportunity for us to work together. This gathering will go a long way in catalysing these collaborations.”
Dr Tichaona Mangwende, Head of the Research and Statistics Cluster, NEPAD Agency Science, Technology and Innovation Hub; and Dr Kevit Desai, Chief Executive Officer, Centurion Systems, Kenya and SGCI Advisory Committee member also presented opening remarks linking the works of SGCs on the continent with African Union’s STISA 2024, and the private sector respectively.
The week (3-4 July 2017) catalysed discussions on strengthening Africa’s research system; investing in individual scientific excellence as well as strategic research areas; and exploring the catalytic role of SGCs. On 5-7 July 2017 workshops on partnerships for research and innovation facilitated by SGCI Collaborating Technical Agencies (CTAs), the Southern African Research and Innovation Management Association (SARIMA) and the African Centre for Technology Studies (ACTS) were presented.