Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa
Dr. Martial De-Paul Ikounga and Minister Naledi Pandor
6 March 2015
H.E Dr. Martial De-Paul Ikounga, Commissioner HRST paid a working visit to the Department of Science and Technology of South Africa on 6 March 2015, Pretoria
In a move to fast track the implementation of the STISA 2024, the Commissioner HRST paid a courtesy call to H.E. Naledi Pandor, South African Minister for Science and Technology, during which the Minister and the commissioner HRST exchanged views on the responsibilities of the Members States, the RECs, the AUC and the NEPAD Agency as well as non- state stakeholders to champion the implementation of STISA 2024.
The Minister in her intervention indicated that South Africa’s priority in STI is centered around human capital development, with specific emphasis on grand challenges such as water, energy, bio-economy, space science and astronomy as well as social sciences. Her Department provides leadership in high performance computing together with three other African countries who are stakeholders in the project. She also indicated the decision of South Africa to host the PAU space institute on behalf of the Southern African region. She highlighted South Africa’s commitment in the support of the continental projects such as the African Institute of Mathematical Science (AIMS), the joint action with NEPAD on climate change research at the level of SADC and the possibility to expand this initiative to other African regions. She further indicated the support of South Africa to champion the implementation of STISA noting the importance of African leadership in the funding of African programs.
Looking forward to the next session of the African ministers in charge of science and technology, H.E. Naledi Pandor stressed the role of the AUC to provide leadership and call to order the African ministers so as to take their responsibilities and implement their agreed decisions for African development and integration.
The Commissioner HRST expressed his gratitude to the commitment of South Africa and reiterated the need to use domestic continental resources to address the African priorities. He stressed that African countries are at different levels of STI and its mainstreaming thereof to resolve challenges faced in socio-economic and developmental sectors such as agriculture and food security, health, etc. thus underlining the need for Member States to champion STISA 2024. It was agreed that through STISA, the countries are at will to determine their level of involvement from capacity building, development of technical competence, innovation and entrepreneurship, and creation of enabling environment to the flagship research programs on African priorities that will be suggested by the scientific community organized within the African Scientific Research and Innovation Council (ASRIC).
They both agreed to continue their consultation process so as to determine areas of common interest with the view of scaling up existing best practices in STI to other regions.
The Commissioner’s visit which coincided with the consultative meeting on the implementation of STISA was carried out in the company of the Head of Division S&T, the PAU Deputy Rector and his personal assistant.
African Union Commission