The SGCI has been recognised with a Science Diplomacy Award by Minister Naledi Pandor, Minister of Science and Technology of South Africa during South Africa’s 2017 Science Forum
. The award is presented in the category for an international STI partnership which has made an outstanding contribution to advancing African regional cooperation, integration and development, and acknowledges the innovative partnership approach in the conceptualisation and implementation of the SGCI.
The SGCI brings together three major partners – the UK’s DFID, Canada’s IDRC and South Africa’s National Research Foundation – with 15 public funding agencies in Anglophone, Lusophone and Francophone Africa and 13 science and technology policy and practice think tanks within and outside Africa in contributing significantly to the strengthening of capacities of public funding agencies in Africa in order to support research and evidence-based policies for economic and social development. The SGCI was initiated during 2014 as a five-year partnership investment, and is attracting interest from other development partners based on its success.
The award was received by Mr Naser Faruqui, Director of Technology and Innovation, IDRC; and Dr Sepo Hachigonta and Ms Dorothy Ngila of the NRF South Africa on behalf of the SGCI family.
An initiative of Minister Pandor, the annual Science Forum South Africa, provides Africa with its first “open science” event, similar to forums, such as ESOF, AAAS, and the Japan Agora, convened with great success elsewhere in the world. It: 1) creates a platform for a vibrant debate on the role of science, technology and innovation and society in South Africa; 2) strengthens South Africa’s strategic international science, technology and innovation partnerships; and 3) creates a platform for senior government leaders, academics, scientists, industry, civil society, and students to interact. The two-day programme brings together more than 1 500 participants for discussion and debate in plenary sessions, short seminars and individual lectures (labelled as “Science talks.” The SFSA also includes an exhibition and public outreach activities.
These Science Diplomacy awards, presented in seven categories, are designed to recognise outstanding achievements in South Africa’s international STI cooperation as well as global contributions to harnessing STI for international peace, solidarity and sustainable development. Past recipients in this category include the Regional Universities Forum for Capacity Building in Agriculture (RUFORUM)