SIDA funds project to boost science and innovation

13 January 2022 | Education

Yolanda Nel
Namibia is one of six pilot countries taking part in a project to strengthen Science, Technology and
Innovation (STI) systems for sustainable development in Africa.
The project first launched in Tanzania in July last year, with Namibia, Congo, Ghana, Sierra-Leone
and Zimbabwe to follow. The project launched at a multi-stakeholder consultation meeting,
attended by about 50 participants representing ministries and policy-making bodies, research and
ethics regulatory bodies, the private sector and local communities
The project, funded by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA), supports the
countries in its efforts to strengthen its national innovation systems in line with the
Recommendation on Science and Scientific Researchers, a landmark international accord adopted by
UNESCO’s 195 member states in November 2017.
Namibia revised the National STI policy for 2020 to 2030.
According to Minister of Higher Education, Technology and Innovation Dr Itah Kandjii-Murangi,
government recognises that STIs are key to economic growth and sustainable development. She
stated that any successful economy, particularly in today’s quest for knowledge-based economies,
national STI capacity and a functioning NSI are the basic prerequisites.
“For Namibia, STI is a strategic imperative for national development, and for the attainment of the
national development aspirations,” she said.
According to UNESCO, to support poverty reduction and achieve the sustainable development goals,
STI systems in Africa need to be strengthened. Building up and invigorating Africa’s scientific
systems, encouraging research, creating opportunities to nurture and support research output, slow
down brain drain, address gender inequalities and accelerate towards a knowledge-based society
are critical elements for Africa’s future.
This initiative aims to ensure that governments and national science institutions in the pilot
countries are taking measures to strengthen their national and regional STI policies, governance of
STI, and institutions in research and innovation.

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