The Tanzania Commission of Science and Technology (COSTECH) has embarked on a journey to establish a national research chairs programme, inspired by the O.R. Tambo Africa Research Chairs Initiative (ORTARChI).
Working in collaboration with the National Research Foundation (South Africa), the two agencies have engaged in peer learning and supported the conceptualisation of this new initiative. In March 2023, this collaboration culminated in a session where NRF colleagues, Dr Nana Boaduo and Dr Dorothy Ngila supported validation of the framework document.
COSTECH and the NRF have a long history of engagement, which was established in 2011 at the signing of an agreement on collaboration in Science and Technology between the governments of South Africa and Tanzania. Since then, the two agencies have implemented a joint research call with a focus on health, ICT, Paleontology, manufacturing, and agricultural value addition. In recent years, this collaboration has intensified under auspices of the Science Granting Councils Initiative in Sub-Saharan Africa (SGCI).
Amongst several initiatives, COSTECH is the implementing partner of ORTARChI in Tanzania where Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) and the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology (NMAIST) were awarded O.R. Tambo Africa Research Chairs.
The O.R. Tambo Africa Research Chairs Initiative (ORTARChI) combines political, development and higher education objectives. It aims to honour a leading figure in the development of African unity; have a catalytic impact on the development of research infrastructure in recipient countries; and contribute to knowledge production and high-end skills in alignment with AU Agenda 2063 and STISA 2024. Nine (9) O.R. Tambo Africa Research Chairs across six countries namely, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Zambia have been awarded. The NRF and South Africa’s Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) with core partners, the Oliver and Adelaide Tambo Foundation, and Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) have partnered with NRF sister agencies in the six countries and the universities to implement the initiative.