Sciences for Development of Eastern
The present Conference was jointly organised by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Higher Education of the United Republic of Tanzania, the Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology, the Third World Academy of Sciences and the International Science Programme of Uppsala University, Sweden, with financial support from the Swedish Agency for Research Cooperation with Developing Countries (SAREC) within the Swedish Agency for Development Cooperation (Sida). The Conference brought together delegates from twelve countries in Eastern and Southern Africa - Botswana, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, South Africa, Sudan, Swaziland, Uganda, Tanzania (United Republic of), Zambia and Zimbabwe -, participants from an additional six developing countries and representatives of UNESCO, African Academy of Sciences, Sida/SAREC and organisations promoting basic sciences in the subregion.
The Conference was a follow-up to the International Conference on Donor Support to Development-Oriented Research in the Basic Sciences, held at Uppsala University, Sweden, 1995. In the declaration from this conference it is inter alia noted that:
In the Third World, development-oriented research and higher education in the basic sciences have received but a negligible share of total available resources from domestic and foreign sources. One unforeseen consequence of this situation has been that the indigenous base for education and technology has remained precariously weak. Another has been that the scientific communities of the recipient nations have a limited influence on the kind of research being carried out within their own countries.
Taking noteof these points and the others made in the Uppsala declaration, we, the delegates to this Conference on Basic Sciences for Development in Eastern and Southern Africa;
Recognising the indispensable role that science and technology play in national development;
Further recognising that national development depends to a great extent on the application of endogenous science and technology knowledge;
Realising that science is a powerful intellectual resource that enables mankind to understand natural phenomena and convert them into usable resources for socio-economic development and a sustainable environment;
Convinced that science and its application are major factors of socio-economic development in the subregion and that the future of the development of any one nation in the subregion is more dependent on the generation, dissemination and effective use of scientific knowledge than any other development factor;
Acknowledging that basic sciences (biology, chemistry, mathematics and physics) are fundamental to the understanding of natural phenomena, natural and man-made disasters, discovery of new products and techniques and to the application of science and technology for socio-economic development;
Considering that the status of basic sciences, education and research capacity in the subregion is inadequate to enable science to play its full role in the national development;
Appreciating that responsibility for improving the status of the basic sciences in the subregion lies individually and collectively with the countries in the subregion;
Further appreciating that international cooperation plays a significant role in the promotion of science and that there already are a number of basic science programmes in existence receiving international support in the subregion;
Recommend to our governments and national and international partners as follows: