The workshop was meant to provide an opportunity for the Science Granting Councils (SGC), collaborative technical agencies (CTAs) and relevant stakeholders to share experiences and lessons learnt from the activities of SGCI-2.
ACTS and Ghana’s Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology, and Innovation (MESTI) held a two-day learning and consolidation workshop for the Science Granting Councils Initiative (SGCI) in sub-Saharan Africa. It was held on March 27th – 28th, 2023 in Accra, Ghana.
The event focused on activities across SGCI thematic areas, and countries undertaken from 2018 to February 2023, providing an opportunity for the Initiative to continue discussions started during the 2022 Annual Forum held in Cape Town, South Africa on the SGCI- 2 achievements and lessons. It also enabled Councils to further reflect on the key findings and recommendations of the recently concluded SGCI external evaluation.
A panel discussion during the learning consolidation workshop for the Science Granting Council Initiative (SGCI) held in Accra, Ghana, on March 27th– 28th, 2023.
SGCI is a multilateral initiative established in 2015 to strengthen institutional capacities of public science funding agencies in sub-Saharan Africa with a view to supporting research and evidence-based policies that contribute to economic and social development.
The workshop set out to achieve five key objectives: showcase the achievements made in this second phase of the SGCI by Councils in progressing their mandates and strengthening national STI systems; pause and reflect on what has worked well, what has worked less well; and reflect on efforts to institutionalize and embed the capabilities and capacities that have been built under the SGCI.
In addition, the workshop was meant to provide an opportunity for the Councils, CTAs, and other relevant stakeholders to share experiences and lessons learnt from the activities of SGCI-2 and co-produce a series of recommendations that can be used to guide development of new work plans for activities post-February 2023 between Councils and CTAs.
While opening the workshop, ACTS Executive Director, Prof. Tom Ogada, called for the restructuring of the current research and development (R&D) funding approach which puts more emphasis on research and little on uptake of research outputs.
“There is an urgent need to direct more resources to technology transfer and commercialization of existing innovation and/ or to create stand-alone innovation funds. This will include investment in entrepreneurship, creation of new start-ups, and strengthening the establishment, coordination, and management of the rapidly increasing innovation hubs in the continent,” said Prof. Ogada.
The SGCI was launched in March 2015 initially as a partnership of the UK’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC) and South Africa’s National Research Foundation (NRF). SGCI-1 strengthened the abilities of Councils from 15 countries to manage research, design and monitor research programmes.
The second phase began in June 2018 through additional investments by the Swedish Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), IDRC and NRF. The German Research Foundation (DFG) joined in November 2019 while Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation joined in 2022.