Science Africa Workshop on Pan-African Initiatives for Research Capacity Building

A pre-event to the Next Einstein Forum Global Gathering 2018 Kigali, 25 March 2018


Motivation and key objectives of the workshop
This high-level workshop explores the links between basic research and development challenges in Africa. Perspectives from research performers and funders, as well as industry and civil society focus on the importance of sound research capacity as a facilitator for sustainable development.

According to the AU Agenda 2063, Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) are key enablers for achieving continental development goals. The Agenda accentuates that Africa’s sustained growth, competitiveness and economic transformation requires sustained investment in new technologies and continuous innovation in priority areas. While it is necessary to improve STI readiness in Africa in terms of infrastructure, professional and technical competence, entrepreneurial capacity, and STI policies and programs addressing societal needs (STISA-2024), such transformations need to be implemented in ways that allow sustainable impact. Key for such sustainability is a sound and balanced innovation value chain that often originates in basic research.

Science granting councils play a key role as intermediaries in the disbursement of public financing for basic and applied research. Convened through a partnership of science granting councils, this workshop gathers insights and experiences from relevant stakeholders regarding the ongoing investments in basic research and its linkages to development.

High-level participation from decision-makers in national ministries and research funding agencies, as well as senior STI experts in knowledge ecosystems will provide a powerful forum to share good practices on developing competitive knowledge ecosystems. This may include national and, particularly, Pan-African paradigms. The forum will contribute to ongoing discussions on the importance of a strong science-policy nexus to strengthen and support basic research. Workshop results will be presented to a range of African ministers in the Next Einstein Forum’s Ministerial Meeting on 26 March 2018.

This workshop is a follow-up to the Science Africa conference and workshop in Königswinter, Germany, in 2016 that brought together science granting councils from Africa, America, Asia, and Europe to further discuss research management topics. Co-hosts of the 2018 Science Africa workshop are the German Research Foundation (DFG), the Rwanda’s National Council for Science and Technology (NCST), and the Science Granting Councils Initiative in sub-Saharan Africa (SGCI).