Science Granting Councils Initiative in sub-Saharan Africa collaborates with East African Science and Technology Commission

From left to right: Dr Ignace Gatare (Chief Executive Officer, National Commission of Science and Technology, Rwanda), Dr Saidi Kibeya (Deputy Executive Officer, EASTECO), Dr Laure Beaufils (Head of DFID Rwanda), Hon. Dr. Papias Musafiri Malimba (Minister of Education, Rwanda) and Hon. Jesca Eriyo, Deputy Secretary General- Productive and Social Sectors, East African Community)

During 22-26 August 2016, the Science Granting Councils Initiative in sub-Saharan Africa (SGCI) activated an exciting collaboration with the East African Science and Technology Commission (EASTECO) by hosting the first East African Stakeholders Workshop on STI in Kigali, Rwanda. Attended by African science granting councils, regional East African stakeholders, and African policymakers, the workshop aimed at contributing to the development of EASTECO’s strategic plan. EASTECO is the premier East African Community (EAC) organisation responsible for shaping and driving regional STI policy in East Africa.

Speaking at the opening of the event, Rwanda’s Minister of Education, Hon. Dr. Papias Musafiri Malimba remarked on the importance of the East African economies to build knowledge and technology based economies; and that this success can only be strengthened through collaborative platforms. The critical role importance of capacity strengthening in and for STI; and the importance of considering gender in and for STI in Africa were raised as key areas of focus in shaping the EASTECO strategic plan.

The EASTECO engagement was followed by activities of the SGCI including robust discussions on the Initiative’s Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning framework; and presentations of the different work plans to support the implementation of the Initiatives work plans.

In addition, the Southern African Research and Innovation Management Agency (SARIMA) responsible for the technical implementation of SGCI’s objective 1: strengthening the ability of science granting councils to manage research presented the first training session on the fundamental of research management to the SGCs.

SGCI participating councils representing Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Malawi, Namibia, Burkina Faso, Mozambique, Rwanda, Tanzania, Zambia, Ethiopia, Senegal, Kenya, Uganda, and Zimbabwe were represented at the meeting. Representatives from the NRF (South Africa), DFID, and IDRC (the funding partners of the SGCI), SADC, COMESA, NEPAD, EAC, academies of science in East Africa, and key SI stakeholders in East Africa all formed the 100 participants attending this meeting.

Dr James Meiring, Director of
Reviews and Evaluation, National
Research Foundation South Africa
presenting experiences on the
role of a grant manager in the
context of an African science
granting council

DFID  DST  IDRC Version 2  NRF