The Science Granting Councils Initiative in Sub-Saharan Africa Annual Forum and the Global Research Council Africa Regional Meeting 2018 kicked off on 5 November at the Azalaï Hotel in Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. The event was co-hosted by the South African National Research Foundation (NRF) and by Programme d'appui stratégique à la recherche scientifique (PASRES), the science granting council from Côte d'Ivoire. The event was attended by the participating science granting councils in Africa, the four collaborative technical agencies, and various stakeholders including the funders of the initiative.
On 5 November the programme kicked off with two whole-day sessions, the one focusing on partnership for impact dialogue which had emphasised on the importance of investing in research and innovation in Africa; the other parallel session a workshop hosted by SARIMA providing training on research and grants management. The sessions were very informative and valuable feedback were provided by the various attending science granting councils. During the evening the Honourable Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Côte d'Ivoire officiated the joint Opening Ceremony of both Forums. During the ceremony SIDA, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, was welcomed to the SGCI partner consortium.
On Tuesday 6 November there was one whole-day session, the SGCI Annual Forum: New approaches to funding Research and Innovation in Africa. The session held a comprehensive discussion on new approaches to funding Research and Innovation in Africa and valuable comments, inputs, as well as suggestions were provided by those in attendance.
Wednesday, 7 November proceeded with the Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) workshop in the morning where most notably stories of change were provided by some of the science granting councils on the impact that the initiative has had on their respective science granting councils to date. During the afternoon, four different sessions were hosted with the following focal points: discussions on proposed SGCI 2 activities, SGCI Councils Committee (CC) meeting, meeting of SGCI Panel of Advisors, and a meeting of the SGCI CTAs.
On Thursday the GRC Africa region meeting were held and had attendance from Heads of Councils as well as other invited guests. During the same time the PASRES Academic Symposium On Solar Photovoltaic kicked off and continued the next day, 9 November.
The participating science granting councils (SGC's) and collaborative technical agencies (CTA's) will soon be able to view presentations and other related documentation regarding the event on the SGCI Virtual Hub.