NL-SP4HM

Fostering Science and Technology Policy in Senegal

 

6 March 2002

 

The reinforcement of national capacity in science and technology policies is the major goal of a project being implemented in Senegal with support from UNESCO. The Project, launched in 2001 by the Ministry of Education, focuses on the promotion of science and technology policies that seek to coordinate the efforts of the research and industrial sectors and so derive full benefit from them. To this end, an effort is being made to identify and apply approaches that would foster:

· the creation of small- and medium-scale enterprises and industries benefiting from the fruits of national research,

· partnership between enterprises, universities and research centres,

· a favourable environment for improving research and the infrastructures for making use of its outcome in industry.

This kind of project is being given priority within the follow-up to WCS foreseen in the Programme and Budget of UNESCO for 2002-2003. The Organization envisages the reinforcement of its programme in S&T policies, in particular through the development of human and national/sub-regional institutional capacities for the management of S&T resources for socio-economic development. (More)

The Science Agenda – Framework for Action, approved by the WCS, points out that national policies should be adopted in order to provide consistent and long-term support for S&T, especially through the strengthening of the human resources base, integration of science into the national culture, and development of infrastructures and promotion of technology and innovation capacities. National authorities and the private sector should support university–industry partnerships that also involve research institutes and small and micro-enterprises, and so accelerate returns from science and generate benefits for all.

The project in Senegal directly responds to these expectations and embraces action that addresses public policy in innovation systems. It envisages the strengthening of capacities of the nation’s DESR (Délégation de l’enseignement supérieur et de la recherche scientifique) in the management of innovations; the organization of national training workshops with the participation of international experts; studies abroad of national experts; the acquisition of software, information materials and training aids; the preparation of a university course; and the setting up of university units for co-operation with small enterprises. UNESCO is currently a major sponsor of the Project. Exchange of experiences and co-operation with partners that may be interested to join UNESCO in supporting the project would be welcome.

 

For further information contact the Division of Science Analysis and Policies, Sector of Natural Sciences, UNESCO; e-mail: f.osotimehin@unesco.org