AUDA-NEPAD, CSIR partnership to accelerate Africa’s transformation agenda
The African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) are strengthening their partnership through formalised technical cooperation to accelerate technology development in Africa.
The renewed cooperation covers the conduct of applied research, development and innovation (RDI) with a strong focus on localised transformative technologies and accelerating their deployment for socioeconomic transformation.
A detailed Joint Action Plan for the technical cooperation has been developed with identified key deliverables and requisite timeframes. The parties will engage in dialogue with African countries with the view of assisting them in accelerating innovative, multisector and multi-stakeholder approaches to design scopes of work with key national and sub-national government networks, civil society, academia, the private sector, communities and development partners.
They will further identify issues pertinent to development problems and establish their connections, taking into consideration a spatial-territorial dimension in order to promote a holistic and integrated development approach. For example, energy security has a direct bearing on several facets of development outcomes – among others, industrial and productive capacity, human wellbeing, access to primary healthcare, education and environmental outcomes.
The development of country and regional energy plans and frameworks will support the continued electrification of Africa, leverage sustainable energy resources and the considerable natural resources on the continent. The opportunities in microgrids and renewable energy systems is a specific focus area for the electrification of remote communities and to increase energy access and security.
In the area of industrialisation, the focus of the technical cooperation will be on RDI in chemicals, manufacturing and mining. In manufacturing, cooperation will strengthen the middle tiers of the value chain (engineered materials, fabrication and assembly) to boost the export of components and sub-assemblies, and develop strategic capabilities to address high-value industries, facilitating supply chain integration.
Cooperation in the area of mining will enable RDI to support the growth and revitalisation of the mining industry through best-in-class process improvement support, manufacturing processes, system improvements and a mineral beneficiation focus, ensuring that mines can maximise the recovery of mineral wealth in a safe and sustainable manner.
Other areas of collaboration will be integrated water resource management, the built environment, next-generation enterprises and institutions, advanced agriculture and food security, health, building resilient defence and security capabilities for Africa and human capital development programmes.
The institutions will also share information concerning their respective activities in specific countries of focus in Africa, in order to ensure that their initiatives are aligned with and complement one another, while promoting South-South and Triangular Cooperation to enhance learning and knowledge sharing across African countries, as well as from other regions, through joint bilateral projects.
In addition to the expanded areas of focus for the collaboration, the two institutions will continue their long-standing relationship in biotechnology, and laser science and technology through the Southern Africa Network for Biosciences (SANBio) and the African Laser Centre.