SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY AND RESEARCH IN BOTSWANA

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D Inger
Director: Botswana Technology Centre
BOTEC
Private Bag 0082
Gaborone
Botswana

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  1. The Science and Technology Policy

The Science and Technology Policy for Botswana was approved by Parliament in July 1998. This was the culmination of two year’s work in which the Botswana Technology Centre (BOTEC) gradually put together the policy on behalf of Government, and in consultation with all stakeholders.

The Overall Policy Goal of the Policy is "to achieve sustainable social and economic development so as to meet the present and future needs of the nation, and to meet the challenges of the next millennium, through the co-ordinated and integrated application of S&T for the upliftment of the stand and quality of life of Batswana, and conservation of the environment."

  1. Implementation and Financing

Government has set aside a provisional P56 million (about 12 million US $) for National Development Plan 8. Part of this funding is for BOTEC, including the construction of a new headquarters. Other funds relate to the implementation of the policy, including strengthening of information technology systems and projects including a Technology Park. There is also about another P600,000 set aside for a major consultancy on how the Policy will be implemented. The Terms of Reference include a critical review of existing S&T and R&D institutions, and consideration of rationalisation through mergers, affiliation, or better co-ordination. Government is determined that the policy will be implemented effectively, and there will be an emphasis on measurable standards of performance.

  1. Existing and Future Institutions

Existing institutions involved in S&T and R&D include the Botswana Technology Centre, the Food Technology Research Service, the Rural Industries Innovation Centre, the Department of Agricultural Research, the University of Botswana, the Botswana Institute of Development Policy Analysis, and the Botswana Bureau of Standards.

BOTEC is involved in policy development and research and development in architecture, civil engineering, renewable energy, electronics, and information technology. It also manages the Food Technology Research Institution, but steps are being taken to set this up as an separate parastatal organisation.

The new Policy envisages three new institutions.

This will be a high-level body chaired by H.E. the President. The membership will consist of first-rank decision makers from the public, private, and parastatal sectors, including the science community. The Commission will meet at least once a year to discuss policy issues, priorities, financing, and the strategic promotion of S&T.

The NCRST will have a mandate for providing leadership and co-ordination for the management and implementation of the Science and Technology Policy. The Council will administer research funds on behalf of government for allocation to R&D institutions. It will also need to consider the important question of human resource development in S&T and R&D, which is a weakness in Botswana.

The NCSIR will be an institution formed by the co-ordination, affiliation, or rationalisation of existing S&T and R&D institutions. Although principally directed towards the promotion of industrial development, it will also draw upon other research establishments such as the University and the Department of Agricultural Research.

The final model to emerge will depend on the work of the consultants, and discussions and negotiations with the various stakeholders.

BOTEC favours the New Zealand model, in which policy, financing, and the service providers are kept separate. Government sets policy and establishes overall goals and priority areas, in consultation with experts. An independent body (such as the Council) disburses the funds, and service providers (such as BOTEC) have to bid for the funds on a competitive basis.

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AN OVERVIEW OF THE
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY SYSTEMS IN LESOTHO

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M B Williams
Senior Research Officer, Science and Technology
Private Bag A23
Maseru
Lesotho

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  1. Institutional Structures

The institutional arrangement for administration of science and technology (S&T) in Lesotho stands as follows:

At decision making level, there is a Cabinet Minister for Natural Resources, Science and Technology, assisted by the Principal Secretary for the Ministry. The Department of Science and Technology, which is headed by the Director under the same Ministry, is a central body for policy advice, promotion and co-ordination of science and technology activities.

The main aim of the department is to formulate and implement policies and programmes that will promote the development of science and technology in order to create an enabling environment in which technological development will make meaningful contribution to national development.

The executing agencies of the S & T system in Lesotho are:

  1. Line Ministries, Department and Sectors in the public sector which have stake in science and technology: Trade and Industry, Education, Agriculture(Agricultural Research Division), Appropriate Technology Section, Registrar General’s Office etc.
  2. Statutory Scientific and Technological Institution such as: The National University of Lesotho which has other bodies like:
  1. The Institute of Education engaged in education research.
  2. The Institute for Southern African Studies, involved in a whole range of research issues which are problem-oriented interdisciplinarily at regional level.
  3. The Institute for Extra-Mural studies which focuses on non-formal continuing education with emphasis on the grassroots social aspects. Research and Development is done on the broad socio-economic issues.
  1. Tertiary Education Institutions:
  1. The Lerotholi Polytechnic
  2. Five Technical School
  3. The National Teachers Training College(Technology Division)
  4. The Lesotho Agricultural College and
  5. The National Health Training Centre
  1. Other institutions are scientific and technological associations which are in a private sector (NGO’s). To mention but a few:
  1. The Lesotho Inventors and Innovators Association;
  2. The Lesotho Society for Geographic Information Systems;
  3. The Lesotho Science and Technology Association;
  4. The Lesotho Educational Research Association;
  5. The National Teachers Training College (Technology Division)
  6. The Lesotho Agricultural College and
  7. The National Health Training Centre
  1. Human Resources and Expenditure on Science and Technology.

At present, there are no quantitative data available for science and technology indicators in Lesotho despite a substantial amount of research done over time. This is due to lack of adequate auditing and technology assessment at the national level. As a result, the human resources for science and technology and the expenditure on Science and Technology cannot be well reflected.

  1. THE WEAKNESSES OF THE SYSTEM
  1. Because one cannot focus on a direct relationship between benefits, and expenditure and the time- lag involved on Research and Development, it is often not easy to convince the government to invest on Science and Technology. This is common in all developing countries.
  2. The concept of "Science and Technology" is fairly new in Lesotho and not well understood. This results in the following bottlenecks.
  1. Slow process in building necessary structures and other instruments of the Science and Technology systems.
  2. Non existence of policy guidance and legislative authority whenever required. We are however aware that other developing countries have developed policies, implementation of which has not produced any noticeable results.
  3. Linked to the newness of the concept of Science & Technology the management of science and technology system is not well developed yet. This often leads to duplication of efforts by the stakeholders.
  1. Like all the developing countries, the interest in "indigenous technologies and knowledge," is hampered by, inter alia, our colonial history and western science culture and systems. This is exemplified by the Intellectual Property Rights Systems which do not directly serve the interests of the developing nations and the bibliometrics used as one method of measuring R & D output.
  2. Poor facilities and strategies to undertake R & D, auditing and technological assessment at national level.
  3. Inadequate human resource base and lack of capacity to implement and facilitate the smooth running of the system.
  4. Lack of commitment by our authorities to international agreements like the Lagos Plan of Action of 1980.
  1. The Strengths of the System
  1. The Lesotho Government commitment by establishing the Department of Science and Technology in 1994.
  2. Though the following are at infancy stage, we view them as strengths because they address some of the problems mentioned above:
  1. Science and Technology popularisation programs
  2. Capacity building of the department.
  3. Provision of Annual National Science & Technology Exhibitions.
  4. Expenditure on Research and Development specifically in Higher Education Sector and Public Sector.
  5. Incorporation of Science and Technology in Secondary and Tertiary education curricula.
  6. Steps towards formulation of a National Policy for Science & Technology.
  7. Empowerment of scientific community towards scientific and technological development.
  8. Inventory on human resources as a step towards the establishment of science and technology indicators and a National Database on Science & Technology. The participation by the department in the environmental management structures.
  1. The Needs

The following are identified as needs for Lesotho Science and Technology System:

  1. To enhance the establishment of the National Science and Technology Policy and further facilitate its implementation through technical and financial support.
  2. To facilitate adequate expertise and appropriate infrastructure to man the Science & Technology system.
  3. To device mechanisms that will strengthen indigenous technology and knowledge.
  4. To develop the culture of research at all levels of learning.
  1. Priorities
  1. Policy formulation and guidance to its implementation.
  2. Capacity Building of the whole Science & Technology system.

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AN OVERVIEW OF THE
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY SYSTEM IN MALAWI

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I M G Phiri, PhD
Chief Scientific Officer,
National Research Council of Malawi,
P.O. Box 30745,
Lilongwe
Malawi

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BACKGROUND

Malawi occupies an area of 11.8 million hectares, of which 9.4 million is land, with the rest comprising of Lake Malawi and other smaller lakes. It has a population of 9.8 million, with a growth rate of 1.9%, and a density of 84 persons km-2 (NSO, 1998). Landlocked with no significant mineral resources, Malawi’s principal assets have been a hardworking people, relatively fertile land, extensive indigenous forests, and abundant fisheries. Reflecting this endowment, agriculture dominates the economy, contributing 36% of the GDP, 85 to 90% of the foreign exchange earnings, and 85% of the labour force (World Bank, 1992). It also provides 60-70% of the inputs to the manufacturing sector, and dominates the commercial and distribution industry. Forests supply 90% of the domestic and industrial energy requirements the forestry industry contributes 0.2% to the GDP. Fish production flactuates between 50,000 and 80,000 tonnes per year, and provides almost 80% of the total animal protein supply.

Most industries in Malawi are gro-based, involved in low technology primary processing of agricultural raw materials and inputs. The light engineering industries are characterised by low levels of technological development and a high dependence on imported raw materials.

THE NATIONAL S & T SYSTEM

A flow chart of the S & T system in Malawi is presented in Fig. 1. The national apex body for S & T in Malawi is the National Research Council of Malawi (NRCM), created by Presidential Decree in 1974. It is currently placed in the Office of the President and Cabinet and mandated to promote and coordinate the development and application of S & T. The council’s membership includes representatives from both public and private sectors. It is serviced by a small secretariat that is headed by a Principal Secretary who reports to the Secretary to the President and Cabinet, the Council’s chairman. The NRCM secretariat, with its meager staff, services several standing committees of the Council.

The impact of the Council has not been significant because of weaknesses in the S & T system including:

Research Institutions

Research institutions in Malawi can be grouped in four identifiable streams:

  1. Public Research Institutions or Departments: These are set up and controlled directly by government. All their funding comes from the government revenue and development budgets. The little donor or stakeholder funding they are able to attract still comes through the government system. The largest of these is the Department of Agricultural Research and Technical Services (DARTS) in the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation (MAI). The DARTS carries out applied agricultural commodity research and provides technical and advisory services to stakeholders in the areas of crop production, livestock production, seed production and plant protection. It has three major research stations, four experimental stations, and nine substations spread throughout the country. The Department of Animal Health and Industry (DAHI), also in the MAI, has a unit that conducts research on animal production and health and also provides diagnostic and advisory services on the same including the production of vaccines.

Research on fisheries is conducted by the National Aquaculture Centre and the Fisheries Research Station in the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Environmental Affairs (MoFFEA). In addition, substantial research on fisheries is now being conducted by the University of Malawi under various projects there. The Forestry Research Institute of Malawi (FRIM), also in the MoFFEA, conducts research on various aspects of forestry including silviculture, timber processing, pests and diseases.

There are also several research institutions in other government separtments including the Health Sciences research Unit in the Ministry of Health and Population, the Central Water Laboratory in the Ministry of Water Development, and the Malawi Institute of Education in the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture

  1. Statutory Research Institutions: These are government assisted but work outside normal government settings. The most notable one here is the Malawi Industrial Research and Technology Development Centre (MIRTDC) set up as a trust with a mandate to conduct industrial research and develop technologies for sustainable utilisation of natural resources by industry. Among its programmes is development of agricultural implements and machinery for cottage and light industries. The institution has a central facility as well as four technology dissemination satellite centres. MRTDC is affiliated to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry. The National Herbarium and Botanical Gardens (NHBG) which is affiliated to the Ministry of Forestry, Fisheries and Environmental Affairs, is another statutory institute that conducts research on conservation and utilisation of genetic resources
  2. Tertiary Education Institutions: The University of Malawi, through its five constituent colleges of Bunda College of Agriculture, Chancellor College, the Polytechnic, the College of Medicine and Kamuzu College of Nursing is a very strong research entity. As a matter of policy it allows its staff 25% of their time on research and 75% on teaching. It conducts basic as well as applied research on agriculture and livestock; environmental protection and health; energy sources and utilisation; engineering, and construction; and health and medical issues. In addition, the University of Malawi has established research centres including the Centre for Social Research (CSR) which conducts research on socioeconomic and development-related issues; the Centre for Education Research and Training (CERT) which does research on education strategies, school curricula and teaching methodologies; and the Agricultural Policy Research Unit (APRU) which conducts research on agricultural policies and their impact on production and socioeconomic development. The University is affiliated to the Ministry of Education, but the constituent colleges have close working relations with relevant line Ministries. The bulk of the research funding is from donors and stakeholders, while government funds overheads and teaching costs.

Recently the University of Mzuzu has been established and plans to become a centre for research in the areas of

  1. Private Research Institutions: These are research institutions that have been set up by associations or groups of stakeholders to conduct research in specific areas or commodities. They include the Tea Research Foundation (TRF) which conducts research on tea and coffee; and the Agricultural Research and Extension Trust (ARET) which is responsible for research and extension services on all types of tobacco. Funding is obtained from a levy imposed on sales of produce by farmers with no direct government funding. Both institutions are affiliated to the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation.
  2. International Research Centres:There are a considerable number of international research organisations that have established centres in Malawi including the International Centre for Research in Agroforestry (ICRAF); the SADC/ICRISAT Groundnut and Pigeonpea Improvement Project; and the DFID/CIAT Bean Improvement Project among many others. All these are located at major research stations and operate in collaboration with local scientists and institutions.

COORDINATION OF RESEARCH

As already indicated, public research institutions operate under relevant line Ministries which control their programmes and budgets. Semi-autonomous institutions are also affiliated to Ministries for funding purposes. Each of the institutions has a technical committee or subcommittee that coordinates research within its own institutional arrangement. These committees vary in their powers but are responsible for identifying priority research areas and approving research programmes and funding for those programmes. The institutions are in turn repesented at the NRCM board by their line or affiliate Ministries. The statutory and private research institutes also have individual research committees that coordinate their research programmes and setting recommendations to the main board. The University of Malawi has a Research Coordinator who oversees programmes in the constituent colleges through the college research and publications committees.

Although there is a fairly strong institutional structure at the execution level, Malawi’s capability in S & T is relatively weak at the policy making, and coordination levels. Additional factors that have compounded the weaknesses include the failure to identify emerging issues and S & T opportunities, and the low level of national S & T awareness at all levels of society.

HUMAN RESOURCES

Malawi’s S & T manpower capability is very low. In 1991 the ratio of scientists and engineers per million of population stood at 42, much lower than the recommended target of 200 for Africa by year 1980. There has generally been lack of focus on human resource development and management. A fact exacerbated by the fact that only 9.6% of students can access secondary education (NSO, 1995), only 3,800 students were enrolled at University in 1996, and the absence of regular MSc and PhD training programmes at the University of Malawi

A survey of human resources in agriculture and natural resources research (NRCM, 1999) shows that of the 243 researchers with graduate qualifications, 45 hold BScs, 127 MScs and 71 PhDs. The largest concentration of PhDs is in the DARTS (32%) and Bunda College of Agriculture (20%). Among the sectors, agriculture accounts for 83% of total staff, fisheries and forestry have 8.5% each. The researchers are predominantly male with less than 9% female scientific staff.

EXPENDITURE ON S & T

It is fairly difficult to analyse the amount, distribution and utilisation of funds allocated to S & T largely because the conventional budgeting procedures do not permit explicit and clear identification of funding on S & T. Indicative data, however, exists in the areas of agriculture and natural resources. In 1995, expenditure on agricultural research as a share of the agricultural GDP was 1.68% (Pardey et al, 1995), of which 0.78% came from revenue budget and 0.90% from development budget or donor funds. More recent data (NRCM, 1999) show that government contribution to the agricultural research budget in 1997 was around 0.71% of the agricultural GDP. Expenditure levels on the other sectors should be much lower.

NATIONAL S & T POLICY

In 1991 Malawi developed a National Science and Technology Policy that outlined broad strategies to ensure that S & T services were a source of momentum for development and that S & T was properly coordinated. However, the policy has not been fully implemented largely because of lack of integration of the policy in overall national development plans; lack of human, financial and material resources; the county’s pluralistic approach in S & T management that allows each ministry, department or institution make fundamental decisions on research capacity, priorities and funding without the benefit of a coordinating mechanism; lack of necessary political will and supporting legislation.

Recent developments show considerable government commitment to S & T, the recent endorsement of the Vision 2020 policy statement which emphasizes on science and technology-led development strategies for socioeconomic development is testimony to this. Through this government has recognised the importance of integrating S & T in national socioeconomic planning and development.

As a further sign of its commitment to S & T, the Malawi government with assistance from UNDP and UNESCO is currently revising the National S & T policy. A final draft of this policy is currently ready for stakeholder review. Principally the draft policy:

The proposed National Commission for Science and Technology (NCST) will set national direction and be responsible for overall strategic planning for S & T. The Commission will fund and coordinate the activities of about six sectoral councils that will comprise of the various research institutions in the country. The legal framework , which is also underway with funding from UNDP and UNESCO, involves the development of a National Commission for Science and Technology Bill that will give legal status to the regulatory and coordination functions of the NSCT.

References:

World Bank. (1992). Economic Report on Environmental Policy, Malawi. Vol. I and II. Lilongwe

NSO. (1995). Malawi Statistical Yearbook, Zomba, Malawi.

NSO. (1998). Malawi Statistical Yearbook, Zomba, Malawi.

NRCM (1999). Malawi Agricultural and Natural Resources Research Master Plan (Unpublished), Lilongwe, Malawi.

 

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THE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY SYSTEM IN MOZAMBIQUE

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S Mucavele
Director of the National Institute of Education Development
Rua Comavadante Cardoso 81
Maputo
Mozambique

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Introduction

Aims and Structure of the National Education System (SNE)

Education has as its goals:

To eliminate illiteracy; to guarantee basic education to all citizens in accordance with the development of the country, through the gradual introduction of compulsory education, and to train cadres for the country's social and economic development needs.

Structure of the National Education System

The National Education System, introduced gradually from 1983, is structured into preschool education, school education, and education outside of school.

Of these three parts, special attention, has been attached to school education that consists of.

General Education that comprises 12 grades: 7 primary, subdivided into EP I (level one - grades 1 to 5) and EP2 (level two - grades 6 and 7) and 5 secondary subdivided into cycle one (ESGI - grades 8 to 10) and cycle two (ESG2 - grades 1 1 and 12).

Technical and Professional Education with three levels:

Higher Education, aimed at those who have graduated with 12th grade from general education, or its equivalent, and is carried out in universities, higher institutes, higher schools and academies.

Apart from the teaching administered in the educational establishments mentioned above, school education also includes other, special forms of education, namely:

Pre-school education deal with children up to five years and Education outside school covers activities of literacy and of achieving skills, and cultural and scientific' updating, and takes place outside the regular school system.

Education and Technology Policy

The five year Government programme states the following about science and technology.

" Government defends that development should be based in the use of science and technology in which scientific research is taken as a determinant toll in defining technologies that best suit our situation ".

For this purpose it is necessary–

A National Commission for Science and Technology is being set up with representatives from research institutions including universities and other higher education institutions.

Current efforts

The macro-economic situation of Mozambique started to improve since 1987 with the introduction of economic adjustment program and later on 1992 with the end of the war.

The Master Plan for Basic Education (1 994) suggested development of a new curriculum area named Natural Science and Technology (S&T). This plan claims that S&T curriculum should reflect the reality of the students' lives. This aim should be reflected in the content of education in terms of curricula which promote knowledge and skills for enterprise, which could lead to fulfilling informal sector jobs, and could assist in the possible growth potential of the dominant informal and rural sectors.

Along with other important developments in education within the strategic plan of Ministry of Education, the S&T education policy is under revision, a proposal for the setting up of a Distance Education Institute is under preparation, research activities that will lead to the introduction of technology education just from basic education are being carried on by the National Institute for Educational Development (INDE).

An extended program of curriculum review and material provision for the technical and vocational schools is taking place. In higher education, the introduction of new technologies to enhance learning and communication is a reality. This is rather reinforced by the expansion of institutions of higher education and the participation of the private sector in higher education. It is important to note that though use of technology is increasing in higher education, some of the state institutions are still lagging behind. Ways of improving the finance of such institutions is being considered.

In line with current efforts to promote Science and Technology in education, it is worthy to point out the project for introduction of Information and Communication Technology in six secondary schools, two polytechnic institutes and three teacher's training institutes I~S).

This project is undertaken by Ministry of Education in partnership with the World Bank and the Computer Centre of Eduardo Mondlane's University (CIUEM) since last Year. The main focus is to provide modem information and communication technologies to the mentioned institutions.

The specific objectives are as follows:

From these objectives the following are the expected results:

 

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OVERVIEW OF THE S&T SYSTEM OF NAMIBIA

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Mr Alfred A. van Kent
Director: Science, Technology and Research Development
Ministry of Higher Education, Vocational Training, Science & Technology
Private Bag 13391
Windhoek
Namibia

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  1. Introduction

It is still the practice of some developing countries to export natural resources, mainly in their raw form. Because of the latter practices the income derived from these resources remains low. A need exists to add value to these resources, through which economic, training and employment opportunities could be generated.

Namibia, a member of SADC, is a very young democracy that has obtained her independence on 21 March 1990. As a result, the training system and institutions are at their infant stages.

Namibia has abundant natural resources and a small population of 1,667,328, population density of 2./sqkm, (July 1997 est.). It is one of the driest country South of the Sahara (annex 1), with a mean annual rainfall varying from less than 50mm in the western region (desert) to 700mm in the northeastern regions.

As is the case with most developing nations, Namibia derives its GDP mainly from the exploitation of its natural resources. The main contributing sectors are mining (19.22%,1997), agriculture (9%, 1997), and fishing(12%, 1997). The service and manufacturing sectors contributes about 26% and 15% respectively to the GDP.

Being a country whose inhabitants derive their livelihood from the utilization of its natural resource base, a sound knowledge base of these environmental and atmospheric resources is imperative to ensure long-term sustainable use. The latter is only possible if a country has sufficient and appropriately trained scientific and technical human resources.

Namibia has a gross shortage of scientific and technical human resources, therefore these resources should be effectively and efficiently utilized.

  1. Current S&T structure

Having realized the need to integrate science and technology into development the Government of the Republic of Namibia has established the Ministry of Higher Education, Vocational Training, Science and Technology with the following broad goals:

The following institutions are engaged in S&T development:

These institutions are operating in a fragmented, uncoordinated fashion. No national advisory body or coordination system for science and technology exists.

  1. Scientific research and development institutions.

Currently, Namibia has 11 primary research stations/units, of which the following are the major actors:

  1. Desert Research Foundation of Namibia: This is a leading research centre in desert biodiversity and desert environmental research.
  2. Swakopmund Fisheries Research Centre:
  3. Henties Bay Research Centre: This centre is involved in acquaculture research, and fisheries research. Research conducted at this centre is based on the concept of zero emission research (ZERI). The aim of ZERI is to use all waste material either as input to production or to produce new products.
  4. University of Namibia: Through its Multidisciplinary Research Centre is engaged various scientific and technical research programmes.

Besides the above research institutions, the following government authorities are also engaged in research in their particular areas of interest:

Currently there is no national research coordination system in Namibia.

  1. Human Resources for Science and Technology

The Ministry of Higher Education, Vocational Training, Science and Technology has initiated national surveys to determine Namibia’s scientific, engineering and technical human resource base. Apart from determining the scientific and technical expertise, the Ministry has initiated another survey to determine the research and development capacity of all the Namibian Research Institutions.

  1. Expenditure on science and technology

Currently budgets of the various institutions do not have clear budgets lines for science and technology related activities.

A survey to determine science, technology and research funding is being planned.

  1. The Proposed Science and Technology System

The Government of Namibia is in the process of finalizing a National Policy for Science and Technology development. This process was started with several studies undertaken since 1993 by the Ministry of Trade and Industry, the Ministry of Education and Culture, and independently by UNIDO, UNESCO, Commonwealth Secretariat, as well as the University of Namibia to determine the best combination of policy and strategy.

Based on the accumulated data and experience, two symposia were held to engage the views and consensus of stakeholders. The first national symposium was held under the aegis of the University of Namibia, and the second was hosted in 1997 by the Ministry of Higher Education, Vocational Training, Science and Technology in association with UNAM, Polytechnic of Namibia, NamPower, NamWater, Telecom Namibia, Namdeb, TransNamib and the Namibian Broadcasting Corporation. A number of international experts representing United Kingdom, GTZ, Commonwealth Secretariat, New Zealand, Republic of South Africa, Sweden, Zambia, and Botswana were invited to share their experiences.

To assure a sustainable and competitive science and technology policy environment, consensus among stakeholders pointed to the need for:

  1. A coherent and transparent system to coordinate the important efforts of widely dispersed public institutions and programmes and which would facilitate cooperation and collaboration among research and industrial enterprises in public and private domains.
  2. A national system to prioritize and focus research efforts and to ensure their proper funding and accountability.
  3. A training and educational system whose output is of the highest quality and which is in line with the needs, demands and trends of an increasingly competitive industrial and commercial sector.

In this regard, it was agreed that the following core institutions (annex 2) would be desired to facilitate coordination and implementation of the science and technology policy:

National Commission on Science and Technology (NCST). This is a highly placed multi-disciplinary and multi-sector body to advise the President on policy imperatives, national priority for S&T research and the appropriate funding mechanisms. This body would be supported by a Trust Fund (Foundation for Innovation in Science and Technology).

Council for Research and Industrial Innovation (CRII). This Council comprises the heads of key Research Institutions in the country in both public and private sectors, including the UNAM and Polytechnic. The CRII will be responsible for the coordination of the various research institutes and for overseeing the effective implementation of national research and development policy.

Council for Science and Technical Education (CSTE). The CSTE will provide a composite forum for the heads of the country’s major teaching institutions engaged in science and technical education. It will have representatives from the basic and higher educational systems, as well as from private and non-governmental sectors.

Science and Technology information Centre (STIC). This Centre will be the main depository for all S&T information, both confidential and public information. It will have the capacity to classify, code, declassify, store, retrieve, and to provide reference, link and network search on regional and international databases for individuals and corporations.

  1. Strengths and Weaknesses of the S&T System.
  1. Weaknesses
  1. Strength
  1. Specific needs to strengthen the role of S&T

In order to strengthen the role of S&T Namibia has to:

  1. Priority S&T fields to support socio-economic development

S&T priority fields to support development are:

  1. Conclusion

For reaping the benefits that S&T integration could offer, Governments has to consider:

Research should be changed from being simply academic curiosity to become the foundation for industrial development.

 

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THE SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY SYSTEM IN SOUTH AFRICA

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M Jeenah
Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology
Private Bag X894
Pretoria 0001
South Africa

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Mr. Chairperson, members of SADC Science and Technology delegation and colleagues

As part of my overview of South Africa’s Science and Technology Policy and System, I have broken up my presentation into two parts. Firstly, the Policy issues and secondly the review of the system.

The Government of South Africa had adopted the Science and Technology White Paper entitled Towards the 21st Century as a policy document in 1996. The government had expressed the desire to create a National System of Innovation, and this was moving away from the previous limited notion of a Science and Technology System. The System of Innovation would consist of a set of Institutions, policies and legislation that would allow the full exploitation of South Africa’s potential. The policy would be based on two objectives that is making South Africa competitive and improving the quality of life of the people. Amongst others this should be achieved via the development of human resources and enhancing the potential of the information technology revolution. This exploitation and development of Science and Technology should be undertaken within the context of sustainable development.

Three key instruments would be used to achieve the objectives. Firstly, problems and challenges should be tackled via multi-disciplinary approaches. Secondly an emphasis should be placed on collaborations. The collaborations should span the entire research spectrum. The problem should be tackled in a holistic and interactive process and not via the previous Science and Technology paradigm of linear process of knowledge generation. Finally the issue of innovative approaches would be encouraged above the slower and less exciting incremental approach.

The Science System is fairly complicated and I would try my best to clarify these muddy interactions.

National System of Innovation

The Ministry of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology is responsible for Science and Technology in South Africa. It reports to the South African Cabinet. The Ministry also tables issues at the Minister’s Committee on Science and Technology for advice and debate. This committee is chaired by the Deputy President and has Ministers, whose departments have a Science and Technology remit as members. This provides an effective forum for inter-departmental co-ordination and understanding. The Minister’s Committee is under pinned by a Director-Generals Committee on Science and Technology.

The Minister of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology is advised by the National Advisory Council on Innovation (NACI). This is a newly created body by an Act of Parliament. The Committee is comprised of individuals from academia, industry, government and the community.

The Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology is the executive arm of the Ministry. In South Africa a member of parastatel have been created and family of them are referred to as the Science Councils. The Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology has a mandate to provide the horizontal integration within that family.

Two Science Councils report directly to the Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology. They are the newly created National Research Foundation (NRF) and the Human Science Research Council (HSRC). The NRF is primarily responsible for human resource development at universities. They are also administratively responsible for any declared National Facilities. The HSRC is a research-performing institute responsible for Social Sciences.

Science System

The Department of Trade and Industry is responsible for the CSIR and the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS). The latter is responsible for setting and maintaining national standards whilst the CSIR is responsible for industrial research.

The Medical Research Council (MRC) is responsible for health research and reports to the Department of Health whilst a similar relationship is observed between National Department of Agriculture and the Agricultural Research Council (ARC).

The Department of Minerals and Energy has a responsibility towards MINTEK, who are involved in Minerals research, and the Council for Geoscience (CGS), who are responsible for mapping the geological resources of the country.

These eight institutions mentioned above form the Science Council family. They have a Government Budget of R1,3 billion and the Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology is responsible for allocating the resources to the Institutions whilst the vertical programmes within the institutions is the responsibility of the line-departments.

Outside of the Science Councils governments departments do support other parastatels. An important component of the System is the Atomic Energy Corporation and they report on their nuclear and energy related activities to the Department of Minerals and Energy. A larger number of government departments also have in-house institutions responsible for Science and Technology.

This presentation has dealt with only government’s role within the system. There are a large number of other structures within the private sector that are involved in research and development. A large number of companies in the technology interactive sector have substantial Research and Development capacity.

In South Africa we spend approximately 0,9% of GDP on our research and development activity in both the private and public sector. The split between the two is appropriately 60:40.

I do hope that I have been able to provide you with a brief overview of the System.

 

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ZIMBABWE COUNTRY PAPER ON SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

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Ms T C Mudzi
Ministry of Higher Education
P.O. Box UA275
Union Avenue
Harare
Zimbabwe

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  1. INTRODUCTION

Since independence, science and technology have been accorded high priority in Zimbabwe. This was also one of the main reasons for which the liberation war was fought, especially with the Africans or majority of the people in Zimbabwe denied the opportunity to acquire skills and the know-how to control and exploit their environment to their benefit. In addition, there was the need to catch up with the rest of the world and to improve the industrial and the technological base in Zimbabwe and to improve the lives of majority in Zimbabwe. A further objective was to improve or transform the existing pattern whereby a greater part of the resources in Zimbabwe, especially agriculture and mineral resources are exported in raw form and the bulk commercial products in Zimbabwe being manufactured elsewhere.

With this background in mind and the efforts to boost the economy a few of the initiatives and the policies adopted by Zimbabwe, from independence until now, are highlighted in the next few pages.

  1. GOVERNMENT POLICY AND THE INITIATIVES

With the effort to improve science and technology immediatelv after independence the ZIMSCI Project, supported by STDA was adopted. The main focus was to promote the teaching of science especially in rural areas where this had been neglected and schools had no laboratories or electricity to support the subject. A special kit was designed comprising of the basic materials and is now available routinely at secondary level.

In 1986, the technical subject kits project was also introduced to boost the teaching of the technical subject areas at secondary level and was supported by USAID. This made possible the teaching of subjects like wood and metal work, brick laying or construction without the involvement of heavy equipment which government or a number of schools could not readily afford. To further strengthen the area, eight technical colleges were established. These were in addition to Harare and Bulawayo (now Polytechnics) which had existed before independence and two vocational colleges were also established. The latter was to boost the understanding or know-how of the skilled and semi-skilled workers who had had no opportunity for proper training under the former regime.

After the ZIMSCI project and strengthening the technical subject areas, the National University of Science and Technology (NUST) was established in 1991. The aim with this institution was to boost research and training in the two areas, a task which NUST has continued to fulfill well. Related new departments have also been established at UZ and these include Mining, Veterinary Science and Biotechnology and the enrolment is continuing to rise these disciplines.

To ensure the adequacy of teachers for science and the technical areas in Zimbabwe, the Zimbabwe/Cuba Programme was established in 1986 mainly to train science teachers. To date it has produced over 2000 qualified secondary school science teachers at degree level and these have been deployed across the country. However, with effect from 1994, the programme was re-located to Bindura University College under UZ and offering the same sciences, namely Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Mathematics and Geography as in Cuba. The, last group of the trainees (in Cuba) will be graduating in July 1999. For the technical area, Belvedere and Chinhoyi Technical Teachers Colleges, were respectively established in 1982 and 1991 and these have been producing teachers for the different technical subjects, like metalwork, wood technology, construction or brick work, food technology and computer sciences. Today, there are even more technical teachers than Zimbabwe requires and especially after the scaling down of the teaching of technical subject areas at the school level.

With more effort to boost science and technology in Zimbabwe, the Scientific and Industrial Research and Development Centre (SIRDC), was established in 1993. This followed the Research Council Act in 1986 as a legal instrument to promote research and the science and technology area in Zimbabwe. The SIRDC, is strategically located in Harare which has a greater part of the industrial activities in the country.

To boost the research activities and operation of the Centre and particularly within the industry or economic sector of the country, a variety of research institutes have been built. Among these, are the Biotechnology Research Institute,Building Technology Institute, Electronic Institute Energy Technology Institute Environment and Remote Sensing Institute, National, Meteorology Institute and Production Enginccring Institute. These augment the activities or the operations of a variety of other institutes in Zimbabwe e.g. the BIIR Research Institute, Tobacco Research Institute, Henderson Research Centre and Agriculture Research Centre (ARDA) to mention, a few. All these efforts have been boosts research in their specific sectors and also promote technology in these sectors. To this effect, a number of innovations have been introduced based on research findings by the different institutes. In addition, there are research operations by, both NUST and UZ and indeed the technical colleges, which have, been on the increase and at the same time on effort to promote cooperation with both industry and government departments in this area, has been on the increase. Equipment for SIRDC has also been well supported, to further ensure the impact of and improved research at the Centre

FEMALE PARTICIPATION IN SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY

With the role of women in science and technology having been neglected, in the part it is now being strengthened and a policy to boost their participation in various spheres including at university level was adopted. To gain more insight into the level of female participation, a study was conducted in 1993 with a focus on the tertiary level. With the new recommendations from the study efforts have been made towards increasing the level of participation of women in both science and technology, for example there has been an increase from 10% to about 30% at universities and technical colleges. At the school level, a few science camps for girls heave also been organised with UNESCO support and this has promoted the interest of women in science and technology.

  1. TECHNOLOGY AND THE SMALL— SCALE ENTERPRISES

With the need to promote small-scale enterprises and indigenous participation in the economy, the need for improved technology within this sector, has also been realised. To this effect the ISTARN Project with the support of GTZ has been implemented by the Masvingo Teachers Colleges and covers the activities, within the Masvingo surrounding area. The objective of the project is to conduct research and boost the skills of the participant in the sector and increase productivity.

A further project is being run by SIRDC with the support of the Norwegian government with the intention to further boost the skills of the participants within the sector.

  1. THE SOLAR ENERGY AREA

With the World Solar Summit, organised in Harare in 1 996 and Zimbabwe being made Chairperson of the World Solar Organisation, a lot has also been done especially in the areas of curricula and new technologies have been developed with the participation of SIRDC. The teaching of solar energy in schools and at tertiary level has continuously been promoted.

  1. LINKS WITH OTHER ORGANISATIONS (SADC & INTERNATIONALLY)

First is the ZIMSCI Project from which a number of countries including SADC countries have benefited and as a result some of the science kits were availed to Botswana. The SIRDC for example, has also been working in close collaboration with a number of countries and there is currently a joint project with Botswana to produce bricks from the Kalahari sand.

  1. FUNDING FOR SCIENCE AND TECHNOIOGY

This is a highly demanding area in terms of financial resources. Although the intention has been to strengthen science and technology, both at the school and tertiary levels, due to shortage of funds some programmes, have not been effectively implemented and the technical subject programme, for example, has almost collapsed as a result of the shortage of resources. Only few schools have continued to fight on and are offering the subjects. However, government has allocated about Z1 8,000,000 for the research activities by SIRDC. This is in addition to the Z$165,000,000 for the construction of laboratories at the Centre. For NUST, the allocation for research in 1998, was ZS3,000,000. However, in 1999 this dropped to Z1,500,000 due to shortage of resources, while the other universities like UZ and its multiple departments as well as Bindura, were allocated Z$750,000 for their research operation in 1999. In addition, there are also the technical and vocational colleges as well as industry that also need to conduct research. For additional activities, support has been coming from donors and consultancy work conducted by the professionals at the institutions or the centres of research.

  1. MAJOR PROBLEMS EXPERINCED BY ZIMBABWE

Problems of finance have already been highlighted although this can be overcome by greater participation of the institutions in research as practised by SIRDC and through interaction with industry or the private sector, whose important role or responsibility is to boost the economy by creating additional resources. In addition, there is demand for equipment and other support facilities, like vehicles, which require funds. Although SIRDC has the state-of-the-art equipment, it needs maintenance and updating in the near future.

Another problem is that of coordination and dissemination of information such that a direct impact of the research findings on development or injection of the new technology in industry or national development can be realised. Without a proper dissemination process or system, the research conducted or the findings- will be an end in themselves and with no impact on society. Although the Ministry of Higher Education and Technology has recently been given the responsibility or the new mandate to coordinate and spearhead the development of technology in Zimbabwe, the machinery for the purpose and financial resources are not yet in place, let alone the qualified personnel for the purpose.

Motivation for research has been lacking in many of the institutions including industry and therefore requires revitalising and also encouraging that research findings be widely used.

  1. FUTURE DEVELOPMENTS AND PLANS

With the new millenium likely to bring new challenges for Zimbabwe and every other country, the current thrust on science and technology will need to be strengthened. Already we have the problem of the Y2K or the new millenium bug on our computers which has to be solved and consequently a high level committee has been established to deal with the problem. The Commission of Inquiry for Education and Training in Zimbabwe has among its terms of reference, assessment of science and technology particularly at the human resources level and the relevance of curricula from pre-school to university and also suggesting strategies to strengthen the area at least for the new millenium. It is hoped therefore that the recommendations of the Commission will provide strategic alternatives for improving science and technology in Zimbabwe. Both the ZIMPREST and Vision 2020 documents have also a strong bias for improving technology in Zimbabwe and increasing participation of the private sector in this area as well as inproving research and the dissemination of the new information and thereby promoting the development of Zimbabwe.

In preparation for the future and the new millenium, a new policy on both science and technology is being drafted jointly by government and SIRDC. The main focus of the policy is to promote the whole area of science and technology in future and to address all sectors of the economy from agriculture and environmental conservation, to health, shelter, information technology to mention a few.

  1. CONCLUSION

With the role of science and technology continuing to be understood, Zimbabwe like all countries including within SADC and internationally, will continue to put a lot of emphasis in science and technology for its survival and to boost the economy. To this effect, any cooperation within the area, will go a long way to strenthen the efforts of each and every country. Already there are many institutions involved in this area and seeking meaningful cooperation which will include amongst others sharing of the research findings. Zimbabwe will thus be only too willingly to cooperate with all the SADC members states and has already ratified the SADC Protocol on Education and Training which covers the development of promotion of cooperation in science and technology within the region.

 

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Overview of Science and Technology Mechanisms

Kingdom of Swaziland

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Prof. V.S.B. Mtetwa,
President, Royal Swaziland
Society of Science & Technology
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Dean, Faculty of Science
University of Swaziland
Dept of Chemistry-Faculty of Science
Private Bag 4
Kwaluseni, Swaziland

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Introduction:

The progress of scientific knowledge and its abundant technological applications are constantly changing human life. Whole sectors of industry and agriculture have undergone far-reaching transformation as a result of recent advances in the physical, chemical and biological sciences. The resources needed to drive back hunger and diseases and to improve living and working conditions exist, at least in global terms; Science & Technology are plainly essential means of developing man’s creative capacities to the full and of meeting his material needs.

Having recognized the enormous potential of Science & Technology for socio-economic development and for improving the quality of life, many developed countries have formulated national Science & Technology policies. These policies are designed to fit into national development plans and to assist in attaining the main objectives therein.

During the 1970s, many African States established national mechanisms for Science & Technology. For example, NRCs were set up in each of Ghana, Mali, Niger and Sudan. Burkina Faso, Nigeria and Senegal set up ministries for Science & Technology. Ethiopia and Tanzania created a commission for Science & Technology and Somalia an Academy of Scientific and Technological Research [1]. Swaziland’s attempt at establishing a S&T machinery or system is given below:

Organization and structure of science & technology policy institution

In 1972 the Swaziland National Research Council (NRC) was established by a Cabinet decision. The establishment of this body was aimed at influencing government policy on all Science & Technology related matters. Its membership was composed of principal Secretaries and heads of Institutions involved in research. It was chaired by the Secretary to Cabinet whilst its Secretariat was located in the then Department of Economic Planning and Statistics in the Prime Minister’s office.

Even though the NRC membership was composed of notable persons, it appears that the intermarriage of their day-to-day duties with the NRC responsibilities was too demanding. For this reason, the meetings of the NRC eventually became very infrequent and the body finally ceased to function effectively in the late seventies.

Following the Conference of Ministers responsible for Science & Technology in Africa (CASTAFRICA) held in Arusha, Tanzania, in 1987 [2], efforts were made to reconstitute the NRC. One of the recommendations made at this conference was the establishment and strengthening of policy machineries for directing research and development.

During the same year (1987) the NRC secured the services of a consultant who produced an enlightening report about the status of Science & Technology in Swaziland at that particular time. The objectives of this consultancy were to examine the S & T situation in Swaziland and to recommend a feasible structure for the NRC and its mode of operation. The consultant recommended the revival of this body as the overall body responsible for research policy in all fields including S & T; it was also considered necessary to change the composition of the NRC,. The chairmanship was then given to the Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Education, the Vice-Chairmanship to the Vice-Chancellor of the University, and the secretariat was located in the Vice-Chancellor’s office.

The NRC is presently made up of six committees consisting of Agriculture, Education, Health and Population, Humanities, Science Technology & Environment, and Social Science. The chair of the committees, through which the NRC works, has been given to active researchers who are trusted to ensure that research activities are carried out and reported.

The main objectives of the NRC’s Science, Technology and Environment Committee have been

  1. to draw up a set of S & T priorities of research in the light of the needs of the country;
  2. to develop a national S & T research programme which accounts for these needs and priorities, and
  3. to advise on the implementation of the programme.

Structures on the state administrative level involved in S&T

Because of the dormancy of the NRC presently there is no effective central structure with the overall responsibility for coordinating all S&T activities. However, a number of government structures have policies/initiatives which impact upon S&T activities. For example, these include:

  1. Ministries:
  1. Departments/Sections:

Weaknesses of S&T system

  1. Non-Statutory
  2. No funding mechanism
  3. No permanent secretariat
  4. Lack of Implementation of S&T policy
  5. Lack of coordination of S&T activities.

Specific needs to strengthen the role of s&t

  1. Legislation to establish a restructured NRC
  2. Annual subvention from government
  3. Permanent Secretariat
  4. Adoption and implementation of updated S&T policy

Proposed S&T Structure

The Kingdom of Swaziland has recently formulated and adopted a National Development Strategy (NDS). The NDS is the government's 25 year comprehensive blue print for development in Swaziland. The government is currently working out the implementation plan of the NDS.

In order to facilitate coordination of S&T activities and thus build a strong S&T system which allows all stakeholders to contribute to a science-led development in Swaziland, and bearing in mind that as a small country Swaziland cannot afford multiple bodies to coordinate activities in every discipline and bearing in mind the importance of an interdisciplinary approach in development,

It has been recommended in the Science & Technology Issues Paper to the NDS [3];

  1. that an autonomous multidisciplinary body to be called the National Research, Science & Technology Council (NRSTC) be formed to replace the present National Research Council.
  2. that the National Research, Science & Technology Council be established by an Act of Parliament.
  3. that in line with the envisaged role of the NRSTC, a three level functional organizational structure for coordination, promotion and development of S&T be formed as follows:

The function of the NRSTC would be to co-ordinate scientific research and technology activities in the country at the intra- and inter-sectoral levels in order to minimize unnecessary duplication of S&T activities. The Council would collect, process and disseminate information on important new developments regularly to research institutes, policy makers and end-users with a view to ensuring close liaison with bodies responsible for the application or commercialization of research results. The organization would also promote collaboration with other countries in the region as well as globally.

The proposed structure of the NRSTC includes a Board to be chaired by the Right Honourable Prime Minister and a Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) made up of eight subcommittees. The subcommittees would be composed of technical professionals, scientists, engineers, industrialists and business persons from the different areas of S&T. The chairpersons of the sub-committees of the TAC would automatically become members of the Board.

It is further recommended that a Secretariat, to be headed by a Secretary General, be formed to service the NRSTC. The office of the Secretary General would have three units under it:-

  1. the administration Unit
  2. the Informatics Unit and
  3. the Development Unit.

The Development Unit would consist of a Research, Development and Production (RDP) section whose role would largely be to act as a link between government, Industry and University/Research Institutes and would particularly promote the commercialization of research results. The RDP section would also promote international cooperation between the Kingdom of Swaziland and regional/international communities whilst also fundraising to ensure that activities of the NRSTC are fully supported financially.

Independent structures

  1. The Royal Swaziland Society of Science and Technology (RSSST) - a society of the scientific community in Swaziland whose primary objectives are as follows:
  1. To promote the role of Science & Technology in Swaziland.
  2. To stimulate popular recognition of the significance and value of Science and Technology in the development of Swaziland.
  3. To encourage and promote improvement of education in Science and Technology in Swaziland.
  4. To facilitate the publication of reports on research in Science and Technology in Swaziland and Southern Africa sub-region; and
  5. To organize meetings, conferences, public lectures and seminars on topics of interest to some members of society.
Proposed Structure of the National Research, Science & Technology Council of the Kingdom of Swaziland
Level 1 Board of the National Research, Science & Technology Council Secretariat
Level 2 Technical Advisory Committee (TAC)

Committees of the TAC: Agriculture, Forestry and Livestock Committee

Industry & Engineering Technology Committee

Health, Nutrition, Population & Forensic Sciences Committee

Natural Sciences/Technology Education & Manpower Committee

Popularization of S & T Committee

Water, Energy and Natural Resources & Environment Committee.

Finance Committee

Informatics, Biotechnology Indigenous Knowledge, New & Emerging Technologies

Level 3 Malkerns Research Station

University of Swaziland

Private Sector

Parastatals

Other

  1. The Swaziland Science Teachers Association.
  2. Academic Staff of the University of Swaziland in the Faculties of Agriculture, Science and Health Sciences - serve on various national committees that report on problems and issues of significance to the entire nation.
  3. The Swaziland Environmental Authority.
  4. National Commission for UNESCO

Tertiary Education Institutions

S&T training are offered at Gwamile VOCTIM, Swaziland College of Technology (SCOT) and at the University of Swaziland. SCOT is the principal institution of higher level technical and vocational education and training. It offers a wide range of Diplomas/Technicians and Craft Level courses in areas of Building and Civil Engineering, Automotive and Mechanical Engineering.

The university offers science degrees in the following science based disciplines: Agriculture, Biology, Chemistry, Computer Studies, Geography, Mathematics and Physics. There is also a B.Eng. Programme in Electronic Engineering. Currently the following Post-graduate programmes are offered:

  • Master of Science in Agricultural Education
  • Master of Science in Agricultural Extension
  • Master of Chemistry with specializations in Analytical/Environment Chemistry and Natural Products and Medicinal Chemistry.
  • No Ph.D programmes are currently on offer

Structures responsible for executing research and development for science & technology

The University of Swaziland and the Malkerns Agricultural Research Station are the main vehicles for scientific research. R&D being carried out in the commercial sector, (within Swaziland) remains very limited, but there is growing interest on the part of the university in establishing stronger linkages with industry. For example, the university is setting up a centre to market university services and strengthen university links with the industrial and service sectors.

Human Resources for Science & Technology

There is a serious paucity of data in this area. This compounded by the conceptual difficulty in defining a `S&T' person. However, it is well known and generally accepted that Swaziland has serious shortages of personnel in all S&T fields. The only official documentation that was found in time for presentation in this meeting are the figures quoted in the 1998 World Science Report. These data are reproduced in Tables 1, 2 and 3 with other related S&T information.

Degrees Awarded, by Year and Faculty, 1982 - 1998
YEAR FACULTY
Agriculture Science
1982 8 8
1983 12 41
1984 16 35
1985 30 40
1986 27 57
1987 21 47
1988 19 34
1989 28 52
1990 31 34
1991 33 43
1992 21 57
1993 31 54
1994 13 57
1995 42 56
1996 71 55
1997 73 56
1998 109 49

R&D expenditure

The funds allotted to research and development can only be described as meagre or insignificant. In the proposed S&T policy document, it is recommended that in order to sustain the different S&T activities of the NRSTC, Swaziland should in the long-term allocate up to 1.5% of her Gross National Product to the NRSTC. It is further recommended that S&T institutions be encouraged to generate funds by commercializing their services and research results and that the funds so generated should be used by the institutions to promote and expand its S&T activities.

Proposed S&T Policy Document [3]

Swaziland has a relatively extensive science and technology system which is comprised of diverse activities in the different sectors of the economy.

This document attempts to articulate S&T policy which will guide the growth and strengthening of the S&T system and promote the application of S&T to socio-economic development in Swaziland. It is intended to serve as a foundation on which to build detailed policies and programmes for the different economic and service sectors and foster the integration of S&T into the Kingdom's culture. The policy places the NRSTC at the centre as a critical organ for policy evolution and analysis and designates the Council as a forum of exchange between Government, the private sectors, non-governmental organization, researchers both national and international and the general public.

Education and training are seen as long-term means of producing appropriate human resources with an understanding of the dynamics of the rapid changes that characterize S&T and with a capability to identify those aspects which will enhance the country's comparative advantages. The need to build and strengthen capacities in research and development that is linked to industry, the informal sector and to other users of research results is emphasized. The document also highlights the need for research directed at the judicious exploitation of natural resources with due regard to the protection of the environment.

The policy recognizes the unprecedented developments in information and communications technologies in Swaziland and emphasizes the urgent need to expand national capacities in these areas as well as capacities in biotechnology and in the acquisition, adaptation and transfer of technology. The involvement of the general population, especially youth in S&T activities is seen as a long term strategy for promoting scientific literacy leading to successful application of S&T to improve the quality of life of the people.

Objectives of the Policy

  1. To build national capacities to evolve and analyze S&T policies to guide the evolution of S&T activities that will contribute to the success of national development strategies.
  2. To evolve specific programmes to apply S&T to improve performance in the different sectors of the economy and to promote intersectoral and interdisciplinary collaboration research and development aimed at achieving national development goals.
  3. To provide an enabling environment for the local generation of S&T knowledge that can be converted to practical application through collaborative ventures between the Government, the private and informal sectors, research institutions and the people of Swaziland.
  4. To build capacities for forecasting and assessing the direction of technological change and its implications on Swaziland development strategy.
  5. To integrate S&T into Swazi culture as a foundation for their acceptance as indispensable elements in the overall development endeavour.
  6. To gather, analyze and disseminate S&T information, including statistical information.

Priority S&T fields to support socio-economic development

Priorities Sectors and Programmes

The government of Swaziland intends to promote balanced and integrated development and to build the necessary S&T capabilities to support the National Development Strategy. Based on the country’s overall development directives and in view of the need to provide basic needs for the people of Swaziland, the proposed S&T policy accords priority to the following sectors and programmes. Sectoral S&T policies and programmes will be formulated by the respective sectors on the basis of the proposed Science & Technology Policy.

  1. Agriculture
  1. To support activities which raise productivity of crops and animals in Swazi Nation Land with due regard to traditional agricultural practices and taking account of environmental protection.
  2. To endeavour to utilize new and emerging technologies to advance agricudtural production in the formal and subsistence sectors.
  3. To promote appropriate training to meet the needs of agro-industry sectors.
  4. To support problem oriented agricultural research by consolidating existing institutions and promoting teamwork among researchers.
  1. Natural Resources and the Environment
  1. To develop a system to map out the country’s eco-system and to identify the diverse biological resources and to collect, store, protect and utilize the plant and genetic resources of the Kingdom.
  2. To support research designed to promote appropriate land use and soil conservation practices.
  3. To support research and development programmes to discover and popularize fast growing drought resistant trees to rehabilitate degraded environments.
  4. To encourage mechanisms to control deforestation and maintain the natural forest.
  5. To facilitate studies and research to control polluting effects of agricultural and industrial chemical on the air, soil and water and to seek the assistance and cooperation of industry in this respect.
  6. To establish educational and social programmes to enhance awareness of the environment.
  7. To establish programmes to forecast, prevent and minimize effects of natural disasters such as the drought.
  8. To establish programmes to manage domestic and municipal waste in rural, peri-urban and urban areas.
  1. Water Resources
  1. To support programmes to improve the quality, conservation and utilization of ground and surface water.
  2. To support efforts towards a multipurpose programme for an integrated provision of water for agriculture, energy, transport and private use, especially in the rural areas.
  1. Energy
  1. To promote activities that will facilitate the use of different methods to ensure the supply of sustainable and reliable energy.
  2. To support research on the development and use of fast growing tree species for domestic energy supply in rural areas.
  3. To support activities for the wide distribution of electricity services throughout the country.
  4. To support research into bio-gas generation, solar energy as alternative sources of energy for domestic use and industrial use.
  1. Industry
  1. To encourage research and development activities that would help promote small scale and rural industries from local materials.
  2. To support research to make handicraft technologies more productive and sustainable.
  3. To develop a local capacity in quality control for small local industries enterprises to raise their standard of production and competitiveness.
  4. To encourage ways to build capacities in engineering workshops to undertake maintenance and repair, to manufacture parts and components for machinery and other industrial parts, thus raising the standard of service industries in the country.
  5. To encourage greater cooperation with educational institutions in curricular design, exchange of teachers, sharing of resources in order to strengthen S&T human resource production.
  6. To encourage collaboration with research and development institutions and the formation research - industry just venture as a means of building national capacities in industrializing technology transfer and adaptation.
  1. Building and Construction
  1. To support conditions suitable for the production and use of appropriate and local specific construction materials, equipment and technologies which do not lead to the deterioration of the soil and forest resources of the country.
  2. To support research which leads to the improvement and wider application of traditional construction technologies.
  1. Transport and Communication
  1. To support the capacity building in the selection, utilization and repair of modern transport and communications machinery.
  2. To support programmes for the dissemination of communication services throughout the country.
  1. Mineral Resources
  1. To support the expansion of modern techniques and technologies for prospecting and identifying to the country’s mineral resources.
  2. To support programmes to protect the environment during mining activities and for the rehabilitation of mining sites in the course of or after expiry of mining works.
  1. Health
  1. To support research and development activities on the prevention and control of communicable parasitic and newly emerging diseases.
  2. To promote activities to improve and sustain maternal and child health and family planning.
  3. To promote research activities on essential food supply and nutrition.
  4. To encourage and support research on traditional medicine and health related beliefs and attitudes.
  5. To support research on the control of population explosion.
  1. Education and Training
  1. To support ways to strengthen science and technology education at all levels of the education system and its continual upgrading in line with developments in science and technology.
  2. To encourage collaboration between education and training institutions with those organizations who are recipients of their graduates, in curriculum design and procurement of equipment and other resources.
  3. To encourage movement of personnel between training institutions and the productive sector to create between appreciation of each sectors needs.
  4. To encourage short courses on specific areas of S&T as a form of continuing education for all S&T personnel.
  1. New and Emerging Technologies
  1. To encourage the inclusion of new and emerging technologies into the curricular of educational establishments.
  2. To support efforts to promote awareness and knowledge of the new and emerging technologies especially among the scientific community, governmgeneral ent and the population.
  1. Research and Development Institutions
  1. To encourage active research activities both basic and applied.
  2. To encourage collaboration among institutes to maximize the sharing of resources and to work towards disciplinary and interdisciplinary research teams who are more likely to impact on development, than individual work.
  3. To encourage collaboration with researchers in the region and internationally in order to tap into international resources.
  4. To encourage the convening of workshops seminars and conferences on all aspects of the research activities to draw more people into the sphere of research and to encourage academic discourse.
  5. Special programmes targeted at mobilizing interest in S&T among young children and youth in order to build long term awareness of the closeness of S&T to everyday life will be initiated.
  6. Special programmes to encourage wider participation of women and young scientists and technologists in S&T activities will be initiated.
  7. Develop strong liaison with educational institutions in order to encourage the strengthening of science and technology education towards the production of scientists, engineers, managers, technicians and technologists all essential in the scientific and technological development of the country.

Proposal for cooperation in area programmes of S&T in Southern Africa

It has been widely accepted that S&T are powerful tools for economic development. At the same time S&T are becoming more complex than ever before. Whilst each nation should be encouraged to concentrate on indigenous technology, it is equally necessary and important for the nation to be ready to absorb and adapt to new and imported technologies. Hence the need for collaboration with other countries so as to be up-to-date with newer technological innovations. Thus, participation in international scientific conferences, training courses, workshops, and so on, is essential.

The following are some of the crucial area programmes where cooperation with countries in the Southern Africa subregion would be beneficial to Swaziland and where Swaziland could contribute:

  1. Coordination of efforts to sensitize governments about the importance of S&T to economic development. In general, governments have not invested sufficiently in S&T.
  2. Networking and dissemination of information on current S&T human resources, equipment, research activities, etc., using existing technology information centres. Such a link would assist in effective S&T management and would help reduce duplication of S&T information and activities. Further it would encourage collaboration between scientists and engineers in the same or related disciplines thus overcoming the problem of professional isolation
  3. Assistance from countries with effective S&T cordination bodies in the establishment of national policies and coordination arrangements for S&T.
  4. Support (from existing institutions in the subregion) on specialised R&D activities which cannot be carried out at the national level - by making equipment and research facilities accessible;
  5. Cooperation in joint R&D initiatives to strengthen industrial sectors with new and appropriate technologies.
  6. Cooperation in the control of transboundary pollution;
  7. Assistance in the formation of a Swaziland Standards Bureau so as to improve the standards and quality of our products as well as testing equipment.
  8. Cooperation in agricultural sciences (particularly with respect to solving problems associated with drought and self-sufficiently), solar/conventional energy resources (eg. in global weather modeling), electric power generation (related to water apportionment with neighbouring countries) and telecommunication;
  9. Maintenance of biological resources by conserving biological diversity (including plants, animals and microorganisms). The rate of species extinction is increasing each day because of overpopulation, climatic conditions and many other factors. For this reason there is need to enhance public awareness about the importance of the species to mankind.

The Kingdom of Swaziland is very small in size and population and because of this characteristics, technological advancement is confined and its domestic markets tend to be constrained. In this regard, regional cooperation is necessary.

REFERENCES

  1. T. Adeboye, World Science Report, UNESCO, Paris, 1998.
  2. UNESCO, 1987. Science, Technology, and Endogenous Development in Africa: Trends, Problems and Prospects. UNESCO Document SC-87. Second Conference of Ministries Responsible for the Application of Science and Technology to Development in Africa (CASTAFRICA), 11-3-87.
  3. L.P. Makhubu, Science & Technology Issues Paper, National Development Strategy, Mbabane, 1996.

 

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CURRENT PRACTICES IN REGIONAL S&T COLLABORATION WHAT SADC COUNTRIES CAN LEARN FROM APEC, RICYT, AND OEC IN THE SADC REGION

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Dr A Pouris
Director: Science Consultancy Enterprises
PO Box 37833
Faerie Glen 0043
Pretoria
South Africa

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Introduction

This invited paper has three interrelated objectives. The first objective is to elaborate on the issue of national collaboration in the context of S&T policy. Governments actively promote, institutionalise and fund S&T collaboration. Often, however, the objectives and the ultimate aims of these efforts are lost, cease to exist or are forgotten and the efforts are transformed from a means for an end to an end by themselves with adverse efforts for both the fiscus and the S&T system.

The second objective is to outline similar efforts by a number of multilateral organisations internationally. We focus on the efforts of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the example of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the paradigm of the Ibero-American Network of S&T Indicators (RICYT).

The paper concluded by providing recommendations for the way SADC countries could promote and intensify their S&T collaboration within the context of best practice as it is revealed by the efforts of similar organisations abroad.

Collaboration in the context of S&T policy

The role and objectives of collaboration can best be understood in the context of S&T policy. Science and technology policy is a term often used but rarely defined.

An operational definition has been used by UNESCO which defines science and technology policy as consisting of "…the principles and methods together with the executive and legislative provisions required to stimulate, mobilise and organise the country’s scientific and technological potential so as to implement the national development plan and/or strategy."

This definition can be distinguished into two parts, in the "objectives of policy" for example national development plan, and the "means in order to achieve the objectives" for example legislative provisions.

Based on the above observation, Pouris argued that "science policy can be seen as the effort to maximise an ophelimity function of a particular group (a nation, region, organisation, etc.). The word "ophelimity" comes from the Greek work ‘ophelia’ which can broadly be translated as ‘usefulness’."

The suggested ophelimity function is a collective one consisting of the sum of the ordinary ophelimity functions of the individuals constituting the referred nation, region, organisation and so on. The ophelimity function of an individual is constituted by a set of attributes providing utility to the particular individual. It can be the pleasure for undertaking research or the utility accruing from a more productive invented technique. To put it in a mathematical format, if O denotes the general interest, in whatever sense that may be taken, then O will be a function of a certain number of variables which we may call "target variables" [Oy = F(y1,y2,…yi)].

A certain numerical value for a variable will be called "a target". The targets (yi) will be chosen in such a way as to make O(y) a maximum. Activities aiming at attaining this maximum may be called optimum policy as other sub-optimal policies may be available.

The target variables, although not directly amenable to manipulation by the policy makers, they are affected by changes in variables under the command of the government, which may be called "instruments".

To use a mathematical format the targets yi are functions of a number of instruments Ik, yi=f(I1, I2,…Ik).

Examples of such "instruments" may be the size and numbers of bursaries offered by the government agencies aiming at increasing the number of scientists produced by the universities, the taxation rate of research activities aiming at promoting R&D in the private sector, the size of the science vote and so on. It should be emphasised that the definition of variables as targets and instruments is not standard or permanent. A variable may be characterised in one case as a target while in another as an instrument. Further, there are policies that have both quantitative and qualitative characters. Such an example may be the introduction of a higher education system free of charge for certain disciplines, while in the previous system homogeneous rates were due. This policy may be considered as having a quantitative character since certain "prices" were put down to zero, as well as qualitative character as the system changes by the introduction of institutions providing free education.

Within this context, efforts to promote collaboration can be analysed, classified and find meaning.

An important issue that becomes profound in this context is that "advantageous" collaboration my not be easily achievable (or feasible) among different partners and that approaches that maximise national benefits may not achieve the same effects at a multi-country or regional context. As we argued, S&T policy aims to maximise the ophelimity function of a particular group. In collaboration these groups may have different ophelimity function that could affect the terms of collaboration and they even make such an effort not feasible.

The second issue that becomes obvious is that collaboration is an instrument of S&T policy aiming at achieving different policy objectives (targets). The most often mentioned objectives are: to get access to knowledge unavailable locally; to share costs and risks; to get access to partners’ markets; to achieve standardisation and to fulfil political considerations. Gaining access to knowledge and sharing costs and risks are objectives internal to S&T policy, while the other objectives should be seen as external to science and technology but achieving objectives in other spheres of governance. Obviously there is no reason why collaboration cannot be formulated in such a way as to achieve more than one objectives (e.g. one internal to S&T and one external).

Independently of the rationale and ophelimity accruing from S&T collaboration, the phenomenon is widespread. In the mid-90s, the USA estimated that it was spending US$3.3 billion on international collaboration and more than 15% of all articles indexed by the reputable Science Citation Index contain at least two authors from different countries.

Multilateral Collaboration

Multilateral collaboration is expected to be more complicated and cumbersome than a bilateral one as the interests and objectives of different partners are involved and considered. A number of multilateral bodies, however, are involved and are promoting S&T collaboration and lessons can be extracted from their experiences.

Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD)

The OECD is an important multilateral institutions involved on S&T collaboration. OECD is a club of 29 countries committed to market economy, and pluralistic democracy (SA has just received the observer status on issues of S&T policy). The organisation provides governments with a setting in which to discuss, develop and perfect economic and social policy. It consists of the Council, the Secretariat and a number of committees.

The Secretariat is made-up of 11 departments that reflect the committees. The departments are:

  1. Science, Technology and Industry
  2. Statistics
  3. Economics
  4. Environment
  5. Development Cooperation
  6. Public Management
  7. Trade
  8. Financial, Fiscal and Enterprise Affairs
  9. Education, Employment, Labour and Social Affairs
  10. Food, Agriculture and Fisheries and
  11. Territorial Development

The structure of the Department of STI appears in the figure below:

OECD structureFigure 1: Structure of the department of STI

The activities of STI can be summarised as revolving around the monitoring of S&T systems in the member countries; undertaking research, with particular emphasis on the identification of best practice and disseminating it in the form of publications and organising meetings and conferences in particular relevant topics.

The monitoring responsibility of OECD is probably the best known in the field of S&T policy. The Organisation is the leading organisation currently in providing guidelines for the production of science, technology and innovation statistics - known as the Frascati family of manuals - and in the production of internationally compatible statistics. The "Basic S&T Statistics", the "Main S&T Indicators" and the "Analytical Business Enterprises R&D Database" are probably the most well known.

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)

APEC began as an informal dialogue group in 1989 and today it has become the primary regional vehicle for promoting open trade and practical economic cooperation. Twenty-one countries belong currently in the group and additional countries are envisaged to join in the foreseeable future.

The Manila Action Plan in 1996 provides the list of priorities of APEC. These are:

APEC is structured around a Secretariat that is made out of nine working groups. These are:

  1. Industrial Science and Technology
  2. Small and Medium Enterprises
  3. Energy
  4. Fisheries
  5. Human Resource Development
  6. Marine Resource Development
  7. Tourism
  8. Trade and Investment data and
  9. Trade Promotion

The priorities of the group Industrial Science and Technology has been articulated to include: availability of information, human resource development, business climate, sustainable development policy, dialogue and facilitation of networks and partnerships.

In order to fulfil its objectives the group is producing the "Industrial Science and Technology Indicators", surveys of the laws and regulations governing trade and investment of related technologies in the member countries and has established the APEC Centre for Technology Foresight.

It provides information through the APEC S&T Web site, it organises symposia and workshops and is responsible for the Asia-Pacific Youth Science Festival.

Ibero-American Network of S&T Indicators (RICYT)

RICYT is the third multilateral group that we examined. RICUT was established in 1998 with the aim to "promote the development of instruments for measuring and analysis of S&T in Latin America within the framework of international cooperation with a view to deepening their knowledge and use as a political tool for decision-making". The network functions through liaison bodies and individuals in 25 countries mainly in the Americas. The Organisation of American States and the Ibero-American Programme of Science Indicators for Development fund the group. Participating extra-regional bodies include UNESCO, OECD and other.

The objectives of the network have been articulated and include the following:

The network is in the process of producing their second report on S&T indicators in the region.

Current practices in S&T collaboration

In this presentation we have provided a theoretical framework within which S&T collaboration can be analysed and assessed and we outlined the efforts of three multilateral "organisations" involved in the field - i.e OECD, APEC and RICYT.

We argue that S&T collaboration may be advantageous for nations although they may find it difficult, if not impossible, to identify mutual beneficial activities for all participants involved.

The provision of relevant information and the development of S&T indicators appear to be the generic issues in which multilateral collaboration is based currently. All three groups that we examined - OECD, APEC and RICYT - provide intellectual support to their member countries through the provision and development of S&T indicators and the utilisation of the data for benchmarking and identification of best practice.

S&T indicators have a number of intrinsic characteristics that enhance their utility for multilateral collaboration. S&T indicators have been proven to influence political decision, to provide support for priority setting, enhance planning and assist in issues of accountability and evaluation. All these issues constitute the subject matter of S&T policy and are necessary ingredients in the provision of linkages at the policy level.

The following map shows the countries that are currently covered in the development of S&T indicators by the OECD, APEC and RICYT.

The African continent is the only one that is not covered in the field of monitoring of S&T through the development and analysis of indicators. SADC’s and UNESCO’s responsibilities in bringing the continent on par with the rest of the world are obvious.

Areas covered by S&T indicators

Figure 2: Areas covered by S&T indicators

 

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REGIONAL COOPERATION – THE SADC PROTOCOL ON EDUCATION AND TRAINING

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Ms L Mavimbela
Senior Programme Officer
SADC Human Resource Dvpt Sector
P.O. Box 170
Mbabane,
Swaziland

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  1. INTRODUCTION
  1. It is an honour and priviledge for the SADC Human Resource Development Sector to be invited to this important meeting on Science and Technology in the SADC region. Our gratitude is extended to the Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology Education in South Africa for the timely intervention in organising such a meeting when the theme for this year Consultative Conference focused on Information technology. In addition, such a meeting come at an opportune time when SADC has developed a Protocol on Education and Training is about to complete the process of ratification.
  2. The last decade has seen the most formidable technological advances. Undoubtedly, information and communication technologies have been the greatest change agent of this century and promises to play this role even more dramatically in the next millenium. Technological advances especially information technology is changing every aspect of human life, communication, trade, manufacturing, services, culture, entertainment, research education and global security. These developments are revolutionising the way societies interact, how they set their national and human development agenda, conduct their business and compete in the international market.
  3. SADC is aware that while the process of regional integration creates opportunities for the business community, the technological revolution taking place the world over is important for increasing productivity and competitiveness. History shows that no work of science has so comprehensively impacted on the course of human development as information technology in the last two decades. For SADC, the advancement of technology is both an opportunity – to overcome inherent and historical disabilities in the regional economy, and a challenge to ensure that the region does not get left even further behind the developed world.
  4. Currently, scientific and technological capacity in all the SADC countries is weak, of course, in varying degrees. There is a shortage of trained and experienced nationals and weak institutional base for carrying out research. All studies undertaken in the region of skills development point out the critical shortage of skills in the science fields such as medicine, engineering, information technology etc. Underlying the weakness, is the inadequacy of school training in basic science and mathematics not to mention the lack of training at the school level in information technology which is becoming part of our society. This weak foundation leads to less than optimal training at higher levels, in the scientific and technical fields. Hence the region lack the middle level technicians essential to underpin science and technology work. Financial constraints; lack of suitable curricula, equipment and adequatelyt trained teachers, and the absence of appropriate incentives, and an environment conducive to scientific inquiry and research have compounded the problem.
  5. Also national capacities in research, policy analysis and management are weak, leading to inappropriate policies or development programmes which are not based on adequate analysis and research. To improve the situation, the supply and quality of scientifically trained school teachers, skilled researchers and technicians needs to be a high priority, if lasting solutions to the regions development problems are to be found. Institutions providing high quality basic and applied research and teaching need to be fully developed. While a lot of initiatives need to be strengthened.
  6. The application of modern science and technology to the region's problem is one of the main hopes for accelerating its development in next millennium. Regionally there is scope to pool high level training and research facilities in order to reduce unit costs, and hence, make them more affordable to member States. This will take both strong political will and good planning to ensure that member States benefit equitably. The Protocol on Education and Training provides that legal framework for the development of capacity through sharing of facilities in the region.
  1. THE PROTOCOL ON EDUCATION AND TRAINING
  1. All the member States in the Southern African Region have long recognised that they cannot achieve sustainable development on their own in an environment of global competition. Hence, the formation of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) which currently has fourteen members. The objective of SADC is to promote sustainable development of the region through regional cooperation. SADC operates in a de-centralised structure wherein each country is given a sector to coordinate. Human Resource Development was given to be a responsibility of the Government of Swaziland. Education and Training constitutes the main cornerstone of the Human Resource Development Programme of Action.
  2. However, Science and Technology was not part of the responsibility of the HRD Sector. Hence, since establishment of the SADC, the SADC Secretariat coordinates it. Unfortunately not much has been done in that regard except for the study on "Science and Technology (S&T) developed in 1991" recommended institutional arrangements for the coordination of S&T in the region. Due to science were included in the Protocol.
  3. It is important to note that from establishment, SADC recognised that cooperation in educatiopn and training was one of the major ways by which the practical realisation of genuine and equitable regional integration could be achieved. One of the fundamental reasons for this recognition is that no country can alone offer the full range of world quality education and training programmes at affordable cost and crucial for sustainable development. Thus concerted cooperative efforts needs to be undertaken to adequately equip the region for the 21st Century and beyond.
  4. This paper, therefore, provide an insight on the Protocol on Education and Training especially the provisions on Science and Technology. It would also provide an insight on how implementation is envisaged and the current status of implementation.
  1. GOALS AND OBJECTIVES OF THE PROTOCOL
  1. The Protocol is a legal instruments that provides a framework for cooperation in education and training in the SADC region .It was developed and signed by eleven SADC member States (with exception of Angola) in September 1997. The main goal of the Protocol is to progressively achieve the equivalence, harmonisation and standardization of the education and training systems in the Region. The objectives of the regional cooperation in education and training as contained in Article 3 of the Protocol therefore include the following (to mention a few):
  1. It provides a framework for development cooperation in the areas of policy, basic education, intermediate education and training, higher education, research and development, lifelong education and training, and publishing and library resources. It stresses the principles of sharing resources through the promotion of regional centres of specialisation and centres of excellence, and partnership of services. The protocol seeks to promote regional cooperation in the development of integrated and harmonised policies, particularly with respect to widening access, equity in provision and the improvement of the relevance and quality of education.
  2. Major areas of focus include improvement and harmonisation of curricula at the basic, secondary and tertiary levels of education, development and production of widely text books and other teaching and learning materials, and harmonisation of entry requirements and examinations at educational institutions. Cooperation is sought in the development of science, technology and vocational education, teacher education, university reform, adult and lifelong education and in the development of publishing, library and resource centre services. Our focus is on the provisions for science and technology.
  1. PROVISIONS FOR SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
  1. It is important that while cooperation in science and technology has not been made a stand-alone area of cooperation in the Protocol because of its diversity in application, it is inherent and provided for under cooperation in Research and Development, and higher education. The provision acknowledges that research and development is a critical area where regional collaboration and cooperation is necessary for the development of the region. The provisions for cooperation in S&T as per Article 6 are as follows:
  1. In this provision, it is recognised that research can be University based or can take place in Non-University research institutes. In addition, in the area of cooperation in higher education where a lot training for specialisation in technical and scientific fields provide for the establishment of Centres of Specialisation. These are intended to build capacity for regional training institutions to offer education and training programmes in critical and specialised areas. While The protocol support regional programmes at post-graduate fields of study however, it allows for regional training at under-graduate level in disciplines such as medicine and engineering.
  2. As indicated above, that scientific and technical fields are critical areas of training in the region, it easily lends itself to regional cooperation. In that regard, most of the centres of specialisation would be established in such fields given that only a few countries have the capacity to train in these areas. There are therefore provisions to allow for a quota for the admission into the programmes in centres of specialisation and that those centres shall regard SADC students as home students for purposes of fees and accommodation.
  3. A regional workshop to consider the implementation strategies for the Protocol proposed the following activities to be undertaken in order to achieve the objectives of the Protocol related to research and development:
  1. IMPLEMENTATION OF THE PROTOCOL
  1. The Protocol provides for an institutional framework for its implementation. It provides for the establishment of Regional Technical Committees to guide and implement the Protocol. The Technical Committees provided for are on:

So far only the last two have been established and are operational. Each of the committees will have representatives from each member states. The composition of these committees is provided in the Protocol. These committees will report to the Committee of Senior Officials responsible for Education and Training who in turn will report to the committee of SADC Education Ministers.

  1. The Protocol is at the ratification stage. Currently seven countries have ratified the Protocol. It will enter into force once two-thirds of the signatories ratify it. It therefore awaits one more ratification before it enters into force.
  1. CONCLUSIONS

In conclusion, these are the main ideas which the SADC Protocol on Education and training is providing for the region. For regional collaboration to be effective, it is imperative that activities that are undertaken are priority areas even at national level with resources earmarked. This is because many of the regional activities are delayed by lack of resources as they largely depend on donor support which has a lot of bureaucratic structures. It is therefore advised that the activities to be agreed in this meeting will utilise existing resource available at both the national and regional levels.

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MULTILATERAL SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (S&T) CO-OPERATION: RESOURCING OPPORTUNITIES

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Dr C J Scheffer
Director: S&T Cooperation
Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology
Private Bag X894
Pretoria 0001
South Africa

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International research and development is an important component of an S&T system. In the globalisation of economics, regional interests are increasingly served by research and technological development as important determinants of competitiveness and quality of life.

Regional development, such as being discussed for SADC, will have to look at the necessary resources for undertaking relevant research and development.

Resources associated with multilateral and multi-natural S&T co-operation are defined in broader terms than just funding:

Resources refer to expertise, appropriate information, management skills, the sharing of facilities, a knowledge base, etc.

Apart from the array of expertise offered in, for instance, the OECD, the presentation focuses on the Fifth Framework Programme (FP5) of the European Union. Especially the programme for international co—operation with developing countries (INCO-DEV) offers South Africa and other SADC-member states an opportunity to partner with scientists and technologists in the framework of European Union S&T. As is the case with INCO-DEV, the EU will, under specific conditions, fund research assistance to SMEs as well. (The FP5 brochure of DACST contains programmes of the FP5; conditions for participation, etc.)

Even in cases where non-EU members participate under the FP5 at an full cast, the benefits are considerate for such participants: apart from sharing in the expertise of internationally recognised scientists and technologists, the associated databases and networks become available and the R&D results will be 100% accessible to participants contributing a certain percentage to a joint project.

Bilateral agreements play an important role in regional co-operation too, and such agreements often serve as a point of departure for multilateral co-operation in S&T at a later stage.

Resources for S&T include fellowships, exchange programmes for scientists etc. such as those offered in terms of international (bilateral) agreements and by councils and foundations.

To a varying degree many of these resources can be accessed by S&T institutions in SADC. The HRD Sector could play a facilitating role in disseminating information on these resourcing opportunities and in accessing the various kids of resources to scientists, technologists and policy makers in SADC. Partnerships and consortia with international players can add more value to such regional S&T initiatives.

For more details, see copies of transparencies reproduced on pages 86 to 90.

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WHY INTERNATIONAL S & T COOPERATION

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MULTILATERAL S & T COOPERATION

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FIFTH FRAMEWORK PROGRAMME (FP5) OF RESEARCH, TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENT AND DEMONSTRATION (RTD)

"Thematic"

programmes

Quality of Life and Management of Resources User-friendly Information

Society

Competitive and Sustainable Growth Energy, Environment and Sustainable

Development

"Horizontal" programmes

Confirming the International Role of Community Research

Promotion of Innovation and Encouragement of Participation of Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs)

Improving Human Research Potential and the Socio-Economic Knowledge Base

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OTHER RESOURCES (INTERNATIONALLY) AVAILABLE

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IN CONCLUSION ….

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WHY DO WE NEED REGIONAL CO-OPERATION IN SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY?

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E M Tyobeka
Department of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology
Private Bag X894
Pretoria 0001
South Africa

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BACKGROUND

In his opening remarks the Chairperson of this Workshop, Dr Rob Adam, alluded to the need for co-operation in science and technology and indeed in many of the papers delivered here the same thread seemed to be coming through. Perhaps this indicates how central this issue is to this Workshop and to the survival of science and technology in the region as a whole. It may therefore be appropriate that this being the last formal paper, prior to the breakaway sessions which will deal with the mechanisms/ modalities of co-operation, it attempts to consolidate the ideas for and contextualises the need for S&T co-operation in the Southern Africa Developing Countries (SADC). This paper will briefly look at, firstly those generic factors that will induce countries to be involved in S&T co-operation and secondly, focus on those factors that make it imperative for the SADC region to form close S&T links.

It is recognised that countries with developed economies will boast of populations which have ideas and skills that can harnessed into quality goods, products and services which will compete with the best. There is also no question that a strong science and technology base is a necessary foundation for a successful, competitive modern economy. Scientific discoveries and technological breakthroughs are occurring rapidly such that the acquisition of new knowledge and competencies has become a critical factor in global competition. These changes are forcing nations, in addition to supporting and promoting science and technology endeavours within their countries, to be involved co-operatively with other countries. Engagement in international science and technology co-operation is for a variety of reasons, which includes amongst others the following:

Whilst the above reasons are generic, in the case of the SADC countries there are specific factors that make regional co-operation an absolute necessity. These are:

  1. Economic development
  2. Political considerations
  3. Leveraging of resources.

These factors will be discussed in detail here below.

  1. ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

We are living in the days of global economics, which seem to stress economic activities that transcend geographical distances and borders and the inter-connectivity and interdependence of economics being the major thrust. Nonetheless, globalisation is emerging in a world that is divided into distinct geographical zones in terms of trade and investment activities. Countries that are in the same zone and having common natural resources and even agricultural and technological products club together to form economic regions. Examples of these economic regions are the North American Region, the European Union, the Arabic Middle East Region, the Asian Pacific Region to name a few.

This organisation of countries into regions which enables them to capitalise on their strengths to their economic advantage, has forced Africa to adopt a similar strategy. Consequently the North West Africa and the SADC have been formed. It is clear that co-operation in economic matters is essential within the region in order to achieve economic development.

In order to promote economic development South Africa has identified a number of geographical areas which by virtue of their strategic location or availability of natural resources, become a focal point for infrastructural development and economic investments. The Richards Bay, KwaZulu Natal, Wild Coast and Fish River areas are some of the Spartial Development Initiatives (SDIs) (see figure 1).

The concept of SDIs has also been extended to other parts of the SADC region and therefore bringing in a number of countries in this economic strategy. The Maputo Development Corridor, for example stretches from Maputo to Walvis Bay and includes countries like Mozambique, Swaziland, South Africa, Botswana and Namibia. The Lobita Development Corridor, on the other hand, extends from Benguela to Dar-es-Salam would include Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia and Tanzania.

It is important to note that the infrastructural and business development of the SDI require a strong sense and technology support.

  1. POLITICAL CONSIDERATIONS

As a result of a number of political factors including imperialism, colonialism and wars, the world is now divided into two major regions, viz. the developed North countries and the developing South countries. This characterises the North as the haves and the South as the have nots and consequently establishing a donor/ recipient relationship.

In the area of science and technology the North-South Interaction has been in existence for a long time with programmes instituted by colonial powers and designed to solve problems experienced by settlers in their new environment. Interestingly, the era of independence of the colonies (1960- 1970) brought about a shift in scientific approach from mere provision of technical support to scientific collaboration with developing countries. Notwithstanding the great benefits in terms of capacity building and problem solving arising from the North-South collaboration has been a number of problems associated with. These included the donor/ beneficiary association which resulted in a skewed relationship. Sometimes there were no matching interests in the research programmes that were undertaken and more seriously was the concern of the developing countries that the outcomes of the collaboration were likely to be exploited by an benefit the developing countries.

Given the experience in North-South collaboration there has been a growing recognition that South-South interaction could provide the needed solutions. Their advantage and strength lie in the fact that they tackle problems common to the region and find solutions appropriate to the existing environment, whilst developing endogenous scientific and technological capacity.

Following the independence of the Africa countries many of the leaders of those countries have spoken about the African Renaissance. Now with the establishment of the new South Africa one of the key proponents of the concept of the African Renaissance is the Deputy President Mr. Thabo Mbeki. He articulates a vision of a rebirth, growth and revitalisation of Africa such that it can make a major contribution to the overall socio-politico-economic development of the world. In order to achieve this goal South Africa needs to work with and amongst other African countries and indeed priority being given to the SADC. In line with this policy co-operation and collaboration is being fostered in all areas including science and technology.

  1. LEVERAGING OF RESOURCES

A number of delegates have already indicated that one of the major advantages of regional collaboration would be in leveraging resources for science and technology. One of the fundamental benefits of collaboration is access to information and knowledge as well as being part of creating such knowledge that it would be vital to the region. It allows for exposure to the latest research in that specific area, it allows setting of common standards and more importantly, even creates access to bigger markets.

There is on the other hand, not only benefits of shared costs for research and development but also shared risks.

However, it needs to be understood that for successful regional collaboration resources need to be first sourced from the region itself. In the second instance a regional perspective will be important and therefore when countries are engaged in bilateral and multilateral agreements or participate in multilateral donors, they take advantage of the opportunities that avail resources to the region.

In conclusion, there is a general consensus that enormous benefits for the region could be realised through science and technology collaboration. However, it requires a vision and a strong will to foster science collaboration and it is therefore hoped that the discussions to be held in the breakaway sessions will help find mechanisms of stimulating science and technology co-operation in our region.

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A BRIEF REVIEW OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY SYSTEMS IN AFRICA

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- Benjamin Ntim -
Science and Technology Advisor, UNESCO, Pretoria
P.O. Box 11667
Tramshed 0126
Pretoria
South Africa

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Introduction

There is ample evidence at the international level to show that science and technology are essential contributing factors and crucial inputs to national socio-economic and sustainable development. The high standard of living achieved in the developed countries in the Western World and in parts of the Asian region is largely due to their strength in scientific and technological competence. African countries also subscribe to this important role of science and technology in national development and have since the early seventies instituted science and technology policy measures to guide and impact on socio-economic development.

The conference of Ministers responsible for the application of science and technology to development in Africa (CASTAFRICA I) organized by UNESCO in Dakar, Senegal in 1974 created the enabling environment for African governments to assess their levels of scientific and technological capacities and expertise. The conference set various goals and targets in manpower development, research outputs, financial and material resources that had to be achieved to trigger and stimulate technological development. Since that conference, several high-level meetings on science and technology have been organized by UNESCO and regional bodies such as the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and the UN Economic Commission for Africa to emphasize the need for African governments to prioritize capacity building and to conduct research particularly in science and technology. In what follows a brief account is given on the impact of science and technology in Africa, some comparative indicators in this field and science and technology systems presently being promoted in Africa and the role of UNESCO in advancing the development of these systems.

Impact of Science and Technology in Africa

In a recent publication by UNESCO, the assertion is made that science and technology have already had a significant impact on the development of Africa. In particular, despite the deepening poverty and a recent increase in civil conflicts and the upturn in endemic diseases including malaria, tuberculosis and AIDS, the impact of science and technology has resulted in increased average life expectancy by as much as 10 years between 1960 and 1994 whereas infant mortality rate dropped by over 40% in the same period. Furthermore, the percentage of the population with access to safe water doubled in the past two decades whereas literacy rates doubled between 1970 and 1994. Since the early 1990, however, the science and technology capacity of nearly all-African states has steadily declined.

Inspite of the above, it can still be stated that science and technology base in most sub-Saharan Africa is grossly inadequate. For example, a study in 1992 estimated that Africa counted only 20,000 scientists and engineers or 0.36% of the world total. Africa's share of world patents is close to zero.

The most serious difficulties the science and technology community is encountering in Africa include a steady decline in R&D investment, the brain-drain, obsolescence and declining infrastructure. These figures are made worse by the insufficient levels of numeracy and literacy and too few girls and women with science and technology education at all levels.

A serious situation exists with regard to the lack of science and technology data indicators at a national level in most African countries. Only countries like South Africa and Mauritius have well documented data in these fields. This absence of reliable statistics on science and technology makes it difficult to draw up practical policy measures to redress the problems mentioned above.

Science and Technology Systems

During the pre-independence era of most African countries, a number of regional infrastructures in science and technology, particularly in the field of research institutes existed to serve regional needs. In West Africa for example, and in the agricultural field, research centers were established for the important cash crops such as cocoa, groundnuts and palm tree. In Eastern Africa, regional research institutes were established for tea, coffee and cotton. Similar regional research centres were also established in Franco-phone countries. Research carried out at these institutes was of such high quality to qualify these institutions as global centres of excellence. Most of these earlier research centres lost their regional dimension soon after independence. In the last two decades, African countries have preferred to set up national structures to guide the development of science and technology. Different types of set ups exist in different countries, however many countries have set up ministries of science and technology whereas others have established councils that are directly under the authority of the Head of State. These different structures have main objectives and functions relating to the promotion, direction, supervision and coordination of scientific and technological research, including agricultural, industrial, health and mining research.

The effectiveness of the different S&T structures lies in the numbers and quality of the human resources that are present to run the institutions defined and established under the S&T structures as well as the financial investments allocated for the conduct of research and development. Apart from South Africa and Seychelles, which allocate about 1% of GNP to R&D investments in science and technology, all sub-Saharan African States have insufficient numbers of scientists and engineers in the research and productive sectors . In addition, investments allocated to the conduct of research and development are inadequate. Some elements of S&T structures for some selected countries in Africa are presented in the table shown below. In view of the limited capacities in terms of human resources and S&T facilities, the need to pool these facilities and expertise through regional and sub-regional networks and bodies such as SADC in Southern African countries and ECOWAS in West Africa as shown in the table becomes absolutely necessary. The positive attributes of the South African system are to be noted and it is not surprising that science and technology, although unevenly distributed among its population are relatively well developed in that country.

In addition to initiating the CASTAFRICA conferences mentioned above, UNESCO's role in promoting S&T in Africa has taken several forms in recent years and includes, in collaboration with its international and bilateral partners the following:

 

Some elements of Science and Technology structures in selected African countries

Selected countries Ministry of S&T Council or Commission for S&T Council for science and industrial research Bureau of Standards National research fund for S&T Scientific information & documentation centre Regional association
South Africa Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes SADC
Tanzania No Yes Yes Yes No Yes SADC/

COMESA

Zambia No Yes-1977     No   SADC/

COMESA

Zimbabwe No Yes-1986 Yes   No   SADC/

COMESA

Ghana Yes No Yes Yes No No ECOWAS
Nigeria Yes No Yes   Yes No ECOWAS
Botswana No Yes-1998 Yes Yes No No SADC
Kenya No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes COMESA

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