Workshops in Congo lay groundwork for project to boost science, technology and innovation system

Workshops in Congo lay groundwork for project to boost science, technology and innovation system


Two workshops were held over the summer in Brazzaville, Congo, to lay the foundations for Strengthening STI Systems for Sustainable Development in Africa, a project funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.


The project is working with policy-makers and other stakeholders in the country to boost the national Science Technology and  Innovation system in line with the landmark UNESCO 2017 Recommendation on Science and Scientific Researchers.


The Recommendation, adopted in November 2017 by UNESCO’s 195 member states, sets common standards for the research system as a whole, with wide-ranging provisions that address the rights and responsibilities of scientific researchers as well as the role of science in society, among other things.


The first workshop was held over 21­–22 July. Mr Richard Bouka and Ms Marlène Omolongo (UNESCO Brazzaville office) defined the first aim of the workshop as building awareness of the project among Congo’s scientific community and in the Consultation Group, which consists of about 40 experts from government ministries and from civil society groups. The second aim was to establish local ownership of the project.


At the workshop, 12 institutions were identified to collect data that would form the basis of the project’s first milestone report: an up-to-date assessment of Congo’s STI system, benchmarked against the standards of the Recommendation.


Among the institutions identified, were the Délégation générale de la recherche scientifique et technique (DGRST) and the Institut National de recherche en sciences de la santé (IRSSA).


Television coverage of the workshop was provided by the local network Vox TV. 

This baseline report on the status of Congo’s national innovation system was enriched and finalized at a second workshop, held in Brazzaville over 2–3 August. The report was subsequently sent for validation by the Ministry of Higher Education, Scientific Research and Technological Innovation.


In 2022, the project will take action to:

  • raise awareness of and commitment to the Recommendation in Congo;
  • boost local capacity to design inclusive STI policies;
  • empower government stakeholders to report on the implementation of the Recommendation; and
  • provide policy advice and technical support to bolster the development of STI-focused Action Plans.