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Project to strengthen Congo’s science, technology and innovation system gets underway

Project to strengthen Congo’s science, technology and innovation system gets underway

 

On 24 August 2021, the project Strengthening STI Systems for Sustainable Development in Africa launched in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo.

              

The project, funded by the Swedish International Development Agency, is supporting Congo in its efforts to strengthen its national innovation system in line with the Recommendation on Science and Scientific Researchers, a landmark international accord adopted by UNESCO’s 195 member states in November 2017.

 

The Recommendation codifies a single set of norms for the research and innovation system, with wide-ranging provisions that address the rights and responsibilities of individual scientists and institutions as well as provide broader standards for science governance. 

 

The project was launched under the patronage of Ms Delphine Edith Emmanuel, Congo’s Minister of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Technological Innovation. Officials representing various United Nations agencies as well as members of the Congolese scientific community were present at the ceremony.

 

UNESCO’s Head of Office in Brazzaville, Ms Fatoumata Barry Marega, outlined the structure of the project, which begins with an exercise to benchmark Congo’s national STI system against the standards of the Recommendation. Having identified challenges and opportunities for Congo, the project will then seek to raise national capacity to design and monitor inclusive policies for science.

 

Congo is one of six pilot countries taking part in the project, alongside Ghana, Namibia, Sierra-Leone, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. 

 

The launch event followed two technical workshops in Brazzaville, which took place over 21–22 July and 3­–4 August, respectively (read more).

 

With the 2030 deadline for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals fast approaching, it is critical, now more than ever, that countries take action to build, monitor and maintain inclusive science systems, since healthy science systems are at the core of countries’ wider development efforts.