Prof Frans Swanepoel, Fellow at UP’s Centre for Advancement of Scholarship and Director for International Strategic Partnerships, has been appointed Chairperson of the Council of Advisors (CoA) of the Science Granting Councils Initiative (SGCI) in sub-Saharan Africa.
Prof Swanepoel was selected by Canada’s International Development Research Centre (IDRC). Other CoA members include Prof Teboho Moja, NYU, USA; Dr John Kirkland, NIESR, UK; Dr Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg, AWARD, Kenya; Prof Nelson Torto, AAS, Kenya; and Dr Gertrude Ngabirano, EASTECO, Rwanda.
Science Granting Councils that are more effective in their work are expected to strengthen national science, technology and innovation (STI) systems, which would lead to nationally led research that contributes to social and economic development.
Launched in April 2015 with support from the UK’s Department for International Development, the IDRC and South Africa’s National Research Foundation, the SGCI’s role is to strengthen the capacities of Councils in 15 sub-Saharan African countries through work in four inter-related thematic areas. The SGCI aims to produce more effective research management practices among Councils; improve the ability to design and monitor research programmes based on the use of robust STI indicators; increase the ability of Councils to promote knowledge transfer to the private sector; and increasingly coordinate and network Councils.
The Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency joined the partnership in July this year. It has been investing more funds to strengthen the gains made in the past three years, and has helped extend the partnership to 2023.