A training course in science, technology and innovation policy
A nine-month course is being run by UNESCO, the Department of Science and Technology of South Africa and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Secretariat, in order to build capacity in science, technology and innovation (STI) policy in SADC countries.
The course targets policy-makers from ministries and agencies in SADC countries. Participants will be exposed to the fast-changing world of policies associated with higher education, research and innovation, in order to help them develop strategies that are relevant to their own domestic context. The course is being delivered by the Manchester Business School in the United Kingdom, in partnership with the University of Zimbabwe, and will culminate in the award of a certificate in June 2013.
The course is being organized in Pretoria (South Africa) in several sequences, beginning with the first training course which ran from 1 to 5 October 2012.
At the second course from 5 to 8 February 2012, participants were invited to select an issue, review ongoing developments and compose a concrete strategy proposing new directions for their respective countries. The programme was organized around four lectures and gave ample time for individual mentoring to discuss each project.
For Professor Edler, one of the course leaders, ‘all participants made enormous progress and it has become apparent that the course will lead to a significant number of high level, strategic project ideas for SADC countries.’
Each participant will present his or her strategy to a conference being organized in South Africa from 7 to 9 May 2013. High-level academics from Africa will give key lectures during the conference and engage in discussion with the course participants.
According to Professor Philippe Laredo, course leader, ‘this conference is a unique opportunity to engage policy-makers in indepth reflection about what they see as crucial issues in their own STI policy and to bring together academic and practitioner discourse for the good of future STI policy-making in Africa. We hope, and expect, that this highlight of the course will be a starting point for improved policy reflection and practice in Africa in the future.’
Once the conference is over, participants will then finalize their strategic paper to complete their coursework. This paper will serve as the basis for obtention of the course certificate.