Document Ii Report On The Dialogue Between Politicians & Scientists, October 2008
Regional Of fice for
ICSU REGIONAL OFFICE FOR AFRICA
29th ICSU GENERAL ASSEMBLY
13–24 October 2008
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Regional Of fice for
29th ICSU GENERAL ASSEMBLY
13–24 October 2008, Maputo, Mozambique
REPORT ON ASSOCIATED EVENTS
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1 SYMPOSIUM: SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION IN AFRICA 6
1.1 Opening Session 6
1.2 Science, Technology and Innovation in Africa – Part I 7
1.3 Science, Technology and Innovation in Africa – Part II 9
1.4 Panel Discussion 10
1.5 Closing Session 14
2 THE DIALOGUE ON SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION IN AFRICA 15
2.1 The Role of STI in the Attainment of the Millennium Development Goals 15
2.2 STI Partnership between Africa and Europe, and the Rest of the World 16
2.3 Involvement of the African Diaspora in STI and Activities in Africa 17
2.4 Funding of Science Research in Africa 17
2.5 Issues of General Concern 18
2.6 The Dialogue on STI in Africa: Proposed Resolutions 19
Regional Of fice for
Prepared by: ICSU Regional Office for Africa
Sospeter Muhongo P.O. Box 13252 Hatfield
Achuo Enow 0028 Pretoria
Daniel Nyanganyura Republic of South Africa
Bongani Mahlalela Tel: +27 (0)12 4814090
Kathy Potgieter Email: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
5 January 2009
29th ICSU GA – Report On Associated Events ICSU ROA 3
AfDB African Development Bank
AICIMO Scientific Research Association of Mozambique
[Associação de Investigação Científica de Moçambique]
AMCOST African Ministerial Council on Science and Technology
ANSTI African Network of Science and Technology Institutions
AU African Union
AUC African Union Commission
CARS Centre for African Renaissance Studies
CSIR Council for Scientific and Industrial Research
DAAD German Academic Exchange Service
[Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst]
DBSA Development Bank of Southern Africa
ESF European Science Foundation
EU European Union
HCB Hidroelectrica de Cabora Bassa
HRST Human resources, science and technology
GA General Assembly
GDP Gross domestic product
ICSU International Council for Science
ICSU EB ICSU Executive Board
ICSU RCA ICSU Regional Committee for Africa
ICSU ROA ICSU Regional Office for Africa
ICT Information and communications technology
IFS International Foundation for Science
IKS Indigenous knowledge systems
ISTD ICT, Science and Technology Division (of UNECA)
KNAW Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences
[Koninklijke Nederlandse Akademie van Wetenschappen]
MCT Ministry of Science and Technology (Mozambique)
[Ministério da Ciência e Tecnologia]
MDGs Millennium development goals
4 ICSU ROA 29th ICSU GA – Report On Associated Events
NASA National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NASAC Network of African Science Academies
NEPAD New Partnership for Africa’s Development
NGO Non-governmental organization
NRF National Research Foundation
R&D Research and development
RD&I Research, development and innovation
SAMCOST Southern Africa Ministerial Council on Science and Technology
S&T Science and technology
SET Science, engineering and technology
SIDA Swedish International Development Agency
STCPA Science and Technology Consolidated Plan of Action
STI Science, technology and innovation
SWOT Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats
TWAS Academy of Sciences for the Developing World
UDEBA Unity for the Development of Basic Education
UN United Nations
UNECA United Nations Economic Commission for Africa
UNESCO United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation
USA United States of America
WMO World Meteorological Organization
YEFA Young Entrepreneurs for Africa
29th ICSU GA – Report On Associated Events ICSU ROA 5
As a tradition, General Assemblies of the International
Council for Science (ICSU) are normally preceded by a
1 SYMPOSIUM: Science,
one-day forum to discuss science and technology in the Technology and
host country. In this regard, the ICSU Regional Office for Innovation in Africa
Africa (ICSU ROA) with the support of its partners, and in
collaboration with the Ministry of Science and Technology, 1.1 Opening Session
Mozambique, and the Scientific Research Association of
Mozambique (AICIMO), organized pre-General Assembly WELCOME
(pre-GA) workshops in various provinces of Mozambique
on 13–17 October 2008; a Symposium at the Joaquim ICSU ROA Director (Professor Sospeter Muhongo)
Chissano International Conference Centre in Maputo on 20 introduced and welcomed African Ministers of Science and
October 2008 to discuss science, technology and innovation Technology and their representatives. He went on to introduce
(STI) in Africa; and an interactive dialogue at the same venue representatives of the United Nations Educational, Scientific
on 21 October 2008. The events brought together more and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the UN Economic
than 800 participants from all over the world, including Commission for Africa (UNECA), African Development
Nobel Prize awardees, African Ministers of science and Bank (AfDB), and members of the ICSU Executive Board.
technology (or their representatives), and representatives of Professor Muhongo introduced the programme and gave a
intergovernmental bodies, regional economic commissions, brief background of the structure of ICSU and its membership.
non-governmental organizations (NGOs), United Nations He explained that the purpose of the Symposium was to
(UN) agencies and the private sector. During the interactive discuss the achievements and challenges faced by Africa in
dialogue, scientists and policy-makers (African ministers, the application of science, engineering and technology (SET)
representatives of intergovernmental bodies, NGOs and UN for development, and to map a way forward.
agencies) discussed in greater detail some of the issues raised
during the one-day Symposium. OPENING
The core business of the 29th ICSU General Assembly was In his opening address, Professor Venancio Massingue, the
conducted by the members of the organization in plenary Hon. Minister of Science and Technology of Mozambique,
and breakaway sessions on 21–24 October 2008. expressed his appreciation for the decision of the ICSU
Executive Board (ICSU EB) to host the 29th ICSU General
This report focuses mainly on the pre-GA activities. The Assembly (GA) in Mozambique. He hoped that this event
deliberations of the core GA are reported elsewhere (www. would benefit the science community in this country as well
icsu.org). as the entire African continent. The Minister then explained
6 ICSU ROA 29th ICSU GA – Report On Associated Events
the value of STI in Africa as a whole and Mozambique in plans, and expressed the value of partnerships with AU/
particular, and hoped that the Symposium would serve as an NEPAD, ICSU ROA, the African Network of Science and
important step towards strengthening partnerships on the Technology Institutions (ANSTI), the Academy of Sciences
continent for the implementation of the African Science and for the Developing World (TWAS), e-forums, and others. An
Technology Consolidated Plan of Action (STCPA) developed important message for Africa was that the continent needs
by the African Union (AU) and the New Partnership for nothing less than a science revolution. Specific mention was
Africa’s Development (NEPAD). He also acknowledged made of the role of UNECA in promoting STI in Africa,
the support from partners of ICSU and the Government which involves engaging and mobilizing multiple stakeholders
of Mozambique in ensuring the success of this event. He and assisting in capacity building.
declared the Symposium open and wished participants every
success in their deliberations.
1.2 Science, Technology and
STATEMENTS Innovation in Africa – Part I
Africa Union Commission (AUC) A Vision for STI in Africa (Derek Hanekom)
Representing the African Union Commissioner for Human Mr Derek Hanekom, the Hon. Deputy Minister of Science and
Resources, Science and Technology (HRST), Dr Chaibi Technology, South Africa, presented a vision for STI in Africa. He
Thameur acknowledged the work of the ICSU family in reviewed the status of STI on the continent, and outlined the
Africa. He explained the role of science in wealth creation, major challenges, which are: poverty; disease (including malaria,
and called for intensification of North-South as well as South- HIV/AIDS, TB); food insecurity; environmental degradation;
South cooperation in STI for development. He explained low levels of education; political conflict; weak STI institutions;
that the African Union Commission (AUC) was created to limited STI skills and capacity for research, development and
drive specific key programmes of the AU, and that the HRST innovation (RD&I); limited funding for STI development; and
Commission is responsible in particular for driving the AU’s technology gaps. He noted that global competitiveness faces
STI programmes. NEPAD and the African Ministerial Council the challenge of the innovation chasm between developing
on Science and Technology (AMCOST) are strong arms used and developed countries. He then presented a vision for the
by the HRST in this endeavour through the implementation continent that would include an Africa well integrated into
of the STCPA. Dr Thameur pledged the political will of the the global economy and free from poverty. He further shared
AU in promoting STI for the sustainable development of South Africa’s vision of a prosperous society with equitable
Africa. As an example, he cited the creation of the African benefits form science and technology.
Cluster for Science and Technology, which would drive the
implementation of the STCPA. ICSU ROA is a member of As a way forward, he proposed that African governments
this cluster. He further emphasized the role of the African should continue working towards investing 1% of their gross
Diaspora in applying STI for the development of Africa, and domestic product (GDP) on research, development and
advocated the beneficial use of partnership with the USA, innovation (RD&I); encouraging regional STI integration;
the European Union (EU) and China. developing equitable STI societies; improving policy
conditions that would enable monitoring and evaluation of
United Nations Economic Commission for STI progress; enhancing research and development (R&D)
Africa (UNECA) capacities and innovation for knowledge production and
Ms Aida Opoku Mensah, Director of the ICT, Science and product development; and the building of STI infrastructure.
Technology Division (ISTD) of UNECA, stated that STI
features prominently on the agenda of UNECA. She stressed The Role of African Governments in the
three significant items that drive science in Africa: strengthening Development of STI in Africa (Francis
scientific unions; the need to engage governments; and Gudyanga)
the creation of a viable and conducive environment for In his address on the role of African governments in the
conducting research. She outlined the scientific challenges development of STI in Africa, Professor Francis Gudyanga,
faced by Africa, guided by previous studies and existing Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Science andTechnology,
29th ICSU GA – Report On Associated Events ICSU ROA 7
Zimbabwe, stressed that governments have an important role discussed climate and environmental changes in
to play at national, regional and continental levels, as they can Mozambique, pointing out that climate exerts significant
influence markets, technology, and behaviour through policies control on living organisms and on day-to-day socio-
and regulations. He noted that judicious policy interventions economic development at regional, local and household
are required to address pervasive market failures and to levels. He provided evidence for increasing surface
ensure that private incentives align with societal imperatives temperatures and rising sea levels; increased frequency and
to produce economically and environmentally sustainable intensity of extreme weather events; increased variation in
outcomes. Professor Gudyanga recommended a focus on wind and rainfall patterns; and increasing risks of hazards and
the STCPA projects and programmes. He presented the disasters. He discussed the consequences of these trends
various regional protocol objectives and the responsibility on the degradation of freshwater resources and fragile
of the Southern African Ministerial Council on Science and ecosystems, groundwater recharge, agricultural production,
Technology (SAMCOST). human health and population displacements. Dr Lucio
proposed some strategies for mitigation and adaptation
Is the Mozambican Research System ready to environmental and climate changes. These include
for Development Challenges? (Lídia Brito) technological, behavioural, managerial and policy responses.
Professor Lídia Brito (Eduardo Mondlane Univeristy, In this regard, he identified some research priorities and
Mozambique) discussed the readiness of the Mozambican explained the contribution of the World Meteorological
research system for development challenges. She dealt with Organization (WMO) to addressing these challenges.
issues related to absolute poverty; the food crisis; the energy
crisis; the financial crisis; global environmental changes; and Interventions from Ministers and
health, particularly in relation to HIV/AIDS, malaria and other Government Representatives/General
diseases. Key requirements for addressing these challenges discussion
would include strong leadership; the values and principles The Ministers were asked how they thought the science
necessary to drive development; good governance and shared community could expect to get evidence-based decisions
responsibility; broad ownership; dedicated commitment; from policy-makers. In response, the Ministers admitted that
and the development of strong partnerships and networks advice was needed from the science community to inform
between Mozambique and the rest of the world. policies and decisions. They pointed out that the value
of such advice would be influenced by the relevance and
Funding Mechanisms for STI in Mozambique reliability of the research conducted in Africa; the willingness
(Narciso Matos) to share scientific knowledge among countries, with a vision
Professor Narciso Matos (Foundation for Community for advancement of the continent as a single, unified entity;
Development, Mozambique) discussed the challenges of and proper budgeting and equitable sharing of resources at
establishing funding mechanisms for STI in Mozambique. He both community and national levels. The issue of brain drain
highlighted the fact that most research funding is external vs. brain gain was also raised. It was concluded that incentives
and not guided by local priorities. He also noted that most were required to stimulate brain gain, in addition to
funding is directed towards training, with very little allocated promoting indigenous knowledge systems (IKS) development
for actual research. As a result, although the number of and prioritizing research to target Africa’s needs.
research institutions and centres has grown in recent years,
the focus remains on training rather than on serious scientific Ministers were also asked to what extent they sought advice
research.There is only a limited number of researchers in the from STI institutions to guide their decisions. One of the
country, and, furthermore, few women are involved in STI. responses was that Ministries in certain countries do have
Despite these constraints, however, he reported on some committees of experts on policy development.
research achievements in the country.
The Ministers raised concerns regarding the mode of
Environment and Climate Change in communication of scientific findings to beneficiaries. In
Mozambique (Filipe Lucio) response, the researchers indicated that language remains a
Dr Filipe Lucio (World Meteorological Organization) challenge, especially in early warning systems to mitigate the
8 ICSU ROA 29th ICSU GA – Report On Associated Events
impact of hazards and disasters, but that there was increasing 1.3 Science Technology and
progress in technology to overcome this barrier. Innovation in Africa – Part II
While recognizing the need to conduct research, the Growing a Knowledge-based Economy:
Ministers remarked that it is more important to be able to Evidence from Public Expenditure on
implement the findings of such research. This would require Education in Africa (Abdul B. Kamara)
the establishment of connectivity between a country’s Dr Abdul B Kamara (African Development Bank) discussed
production potential and the actual supply of goods and the importance of knowledge and technology as key drivers
services. This connectivity could be facilitated by motivating of growth in a knowledge-based economy. He defined such
the researchers and the private sector. an economy as one in which knowledge plays a pivotal role
in driving production, exchange and distribution; in driving
A further concern raised by the Ministers was the fact that the economic growth through employment generation and
cost of research in certain areas can be prohibitive, despite wealth creation; and where knowledge generation and
the potential value of such research; for example, the cost of utilization are associated with positive externalities that give
research in new energy sources prohibits its implementation, a competitive edge. In his view, an emerging knowledge-
despite all other favourable conditions. based economy requires the following: (i) an economic and
institutional regime that provides incentives for efficient use
The scientists felt that it would be ideal if they were given the of knowledge with a view to enabling entrepreneurship to
opportunity to address parliamentarians/politicians regularly, flourish; (ii) educated and skilled production, which creates,
to enlighten them on the progress of scientific research in shares and uses knowledge to innovate and generate
key areas. Research in agriculture is one example of areas economic value; (iii) a dynamic information infrastructure
that can be used to demonstrate research application at to facilitate effective communication and processing of
community level, and such opportunities for participatory information; and (iv) an efficient innovative system of firms,
research need to be exploited. It was also the opinion of research entities and other organizations that are capable
the scientists that governments should not only be seeking of tapping into the growing stock of global knowledge and
intergovernmental partnerships, but should also explore adapting it to local needs.
possibilities of partnerships with relevant institutions. The
need was emphasized for scientists to retain ownership of He pointed out that public expenditure on education can
the research they conduct and to take the lead in advising improve economic growth in terms of per capita GDP.
policy. Research results ought to be useful in solving societal However, due to high population growth rates in Africa
problems. and the inability of governments to provide the required
social services, investment in education may not in practice
It was pointed out that the best advice is obtainable from the contribute to human capital development and, as a result,
best scientists of each country, and that Science Academies the impact on economic growth may not be as significant
constituted bodies of knowledge and experience from which as had been hoped. He referred to a study which revealed
governments could obtain advice and input. that, despite the short-term benefits, public expenditure on
education in Africa does not contribute to knowledge and
Scientists recognized the need to develop networks and human capital accumulation on the continent in the long
institutions of excellence in specific disciplines (for example, a term, owing to the low retention rates of the trained human
network of excellence in dry land biodiversity), as well as the capital. In conclusion, he pointed out the need to strengthen
need to valorise indigenous knowledge systems, especially government capacities to retain trained personnel through,
in alleviating problems related to health and in adapting to for example, attractive remuneration packages. He also
climate change. recommended structuring financing programmes so as
to offer opportunities for talented young people to enter
A further concern raised by scientists was the risk of tertiary education.
frustrating young scientists through poor working conditions
that could compromise their career ambitions.
29th ICSU GA – Report On Associated Events ICSU ROA 9
The IFS Approach for Scientific Capacity science education was recognized, and the general feeling
Strengthening in Africa (Nighisty Ghezae) was that development partners could contribute to such
Dr Nighisty Ghezae, representative of the International endeavours. The need was expressed for scientists to take
Foundation for Science (IFS), outlined the background and the lead in managing partnership cooperation programmes,
objectives of the IFS. She explained that the IFS is primarily a and to define the kind of science or research required for
research granting, scientific capacity enhancement, development Africa. Such research should be guided by the continent’s
and support programme that focuses on young promising identified challenges.
researchers. It works in all developing countries, supporting
individual young scientists through their early careers before It was also noted that human capacity in Africa faces the
they get established. Supported research areas include projects dilemma of competing signals between the need for capacity
that address the sustainable management of biological and retention and the concept of freedom of movement of
water resources. She discussed the IFS granting process and scientists, which allows for migration. A suggestion was made
criteria, adding that the scientific capacity enhancing support for IFS to facilitate brain recirculation between Africa and
programme includes mentorship, travel, scientific paper-writing Europe. Meanwhile, capacity retention strategies should seek
courses and thematic workshops. She indicated that the IFS to link up with initiatives at the level of local communities and
granting programme strengthens capacity retention strategies to their respective governments.
minimize brain drain. IFS support, she said, is measured through
its monitoring and evaluation system for impact assessment, the
analysis of data on grantees and through tracer studies. 1.4 Panel Discussion
UNESCO Perspective on STI in Africa The panel discussions were designed to focus on the
(Joseph Massaquoi) outcome of the workshops in the Mozambican provinces,
Professor Joseph Massaquoi (UNESCO Science and with reference to the ICSU ROA science plans. Hence,
Technology Regional Office for Africa) outlined the strategic the session began with two lead presentations on Global
objectives of UNESCO for Africa, identifying research, policy Environmental Change and Desertification in Africa and on
and capacity building as the major priorities. He indicated Natural and Human Induced Hazards and Disasters in Africa;
that, in Africa, the challenges facing the implementation of followed by a synthesis Report on the workshops in the
science and technology initiatives include environmental provinces of Mozambique.
and resources management, science policies, disaster
management and mitigation, discrepancies between science Global Environmental Change and
and technology, lack of human capital and the low priority Desertification in Africa (Robert Scholes)
given to science. UNESCO’s main concerns for STI in Dr Robert Scholes (Council for Scientific and Industrial
Africa would, amongst other things, be the need for greater Research, South Africa) outlined the environmental
collaboration for science development; the need to identify challenges faced by Africa, most prominent among which
clearly the kind of science and technology that Africa is the fact that the continent experiences a hot, dry and
requires; the need for African scientists to establish their own highly unreliable climate that is likely to become hotter
agendas; dismal government funding; and adapting education and dryer in some places, and more variable in future. He
and training to focus on specific country needs. illuminated the adverse effects of climate change on African
agriculture, human health, water resources and biodiversity.
He believed that priority should be given to building human He pointed out that Africa has a rich, iconic, economically
resources capacity and to the application of science for the important and often still-intact biodiversity, which is declining
solving of societal problems. He was also of the view that at an accelerating rate. He recognized the increasing interest
intergovernmental organizations could be effective only if by African researchers to forge partnerships within the
their member states want them to be. global science community and amongst African scientists in
addressing the challenges of global environmental change to
General Discussion the socio-economic development of the continent.
The value of role models in encouraging young people in
10 ICSU ROA 29th ICSU GA – Report On Associated Events
Natural and Human-induced Hazards and Professor Almeida Sitoe (Eduardo Mondlane University,
Disasters in Africa (Genene Mulugeta) Mozambique) presented an overview of the summary reports
According to Professor Genene Mulugeta (Uppsala of these workshops, which covered the following themes:
University, Sweden), the hazards and disasters in Africa sustainable energy, global environmental change (including
can be categorized into five major types, namely: hydro- climate change and adaptation, with a focus on water resource
meteorological, geological, biological, technological and management), marine sciences and fisheries, hazards and
conflict-related. Hydro-meteorological disasters are the disasters, human health and well-being, and education.
most common and have the highest impact. He noted
that, although this category of disasters is natural in origin, Two workshops on sustainable energy were held in
they can be exacerbated by human activity. He also noted Niassa and Tete provinces. The workshops revealed that,
that Africa is the only continent whose share of reported in Niassa, there is already production of improved stoves
disasters in the world has increased over the past decade. in Lichinga; improved techniques for charcoal making in
Professor Mulugeta explained that Africa’s high vulnerability the Muembe district; and solar energy in the districts of
to hazards and disasters is due partly to factors such as high Mecanhelas (Chiuta), Marrupa (Nungo) and Lago (Cóbuè).
population growth rate, food insecurity, high levels of poverty, In Tete, there is already the high output Cabora Bassa dam
inappropriate use of natural resources, and failures of policy serving Mozambique, South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe and
and institutional frameworks. He further discussed the need Swaziland; as well as limited use of solar power (restricted
to assess properly the frequency of hazards and disasters to mobile phone operators). There is also good potential
and to develop appropriate strategies for awareness-raising for wind-power generation. However, some districts such as
among African communities, so as to mitigate more effectively Tsangano still rely on a diesel generator for electricity.
the impact of these events.
Professor Mulugeta drew the audience’s attention to the The research needs identified at the workshops included:
ICSU ROA science plan on Natural and Human-induced • Assessing wind speed for electricity generation
Hazards and Disasters, in which most of these challenges are • Evaluating the costs of solar and wind power generation
addressed. In this regard, he outlined the two mega-projects • Establishing an industry for manufacturing and
under preparation – one on hydro-meteorological hazards marketing solar panel components and accessories
and the other on geohazards. • Evaluating the potential to build dams for medium-scale
Synthesis Report on the Workshops in the • Improving the efficiency of biomass use as energy
Provinces of Mozambique (Almeida A. Sitoe) source
To optimize the impact of the 29th ICSU GA in Mozambique, • Finding alternatives to Jatropha as raw materials for
the country’s government felt that this event would be biofuels.
an ideal opportunity to expose international scientists to
Mozambican reality, and to expose young Mozambican Two workshops on global and environmental change were
scientists to international and experienced scientists for the held in Zambezia and Inhambane provinces. In Zambezia, the
purpose of initiating the process of identifying research needs key challenges encountered were coastal erosion including
in the country. It was thought that the most appropriate way sea-level rise, river invasion and mangrove destruction; flood
to achieve this was by organizing workshops in different damage in inhabited flood plains; and wildfires resulting from
provinces of the country. At these workshops, international agriculture and hunting activities. It was noted that efforts
scientists could interact with both Mozambican scientists and are being made to control erosion and to sequestrate
the local population to discuss issues of specific importance carbon through the establishment of forest plantations.
identified by the local community. The workshops were The actions recommended to address these challenges
attended by more than 60 international scientists in various included information exchange among government, research
disciplines, as well as by representatives from government community, NGOs and civil society; research on adaptation
agencies, universities, research institutions, NGOs, the private and mitigation strategies; media involvement to facilitate
sector and over 500 Mozambican young scientists. information dissemination; the involvement of community
29th ICSU GA – Report On Associated Events ICSU ROA 11
leaders as the entry point for dialogue with local communities; • Assessing the vulnerability and resilience of socio-
and the empowerment of communities in problem-solving ecological systems to hazards and disasters
techniques. • Identifying indigenous adaptation strategies to mitigate
the hazards and disasters
The research needs identified were: • Standardizing data collection methods
• Assessing saline intrusion and its effect on agriculture • Assessing the potential for the use of organic fertilizers
• Assessing the variability and occurrence of floods in the and biological control of pests and diseases in agriculture
Zambezi valley • Developing strategies for community education
• Improving systematic observation and the recording of towards disaster preparedness.
• Improving land use planning by local authorities Some specific actions that need to be taken include:
• Introducing environmental education at all levels • Developing a framework for identifying national and
• Assessing the variability of coastline and sea-levels in local disaster risks
relation to climate change • Bridging the information gap between scientists,
• Modelling of land-ocean-river dynamics decision-makers and civil society
• Long-term monitoring of climatic variability. • Law enforcement to reduce the occurrence of wildfires.
In Inhambane province, it was observed that over the last ten The workshop on health and human well-being took place
years, annual rainfall has been decreasing and temperatures in Nampula province. The participants observed, during their
have been rising. This climatic uncertainty has affected the field visits, that the main economic activities in the province
agricultural production system, as planting dates can no longer are fishing, agriculture and tourism. Important lessons learned
be reliably predicted. These uncertainties, compounded by in the province were as follows.
poor soil fertility, induce low crop yields. As a result, fishing has • The private sector (the printing press in Nampula,
become the main activity along the coastal zones. Another for example), through a good workers welfare policy,
problem was that of poor water resource management. promotes the social well-being of the people.
• Interactive training programme for medical students at
The following research needs were identified: Lurio University, where students regularly interact very
• Assessing the impact of climate change on fisheries and closely with the population in multidisciplinary teams, is
agriculture not just efficient for student training but also increases
• Evaluating the potential for tourism as a complementary confidence within the population and enhances their
source of income to fishing use of medical services. This practice also facilitates
• Development of teaching modules for community community education on proper feeding habits for
education in water resource management healthy nutrition and on best behavioural practices
• Quantitative and qualitative increase in collection of with regard to disease prevention, especially in the case
meteorological data across the province of communicable diseases.
• Developing agricultural practices adapted to the • Community water supply. Nampula has a good water
changing climate. treatment system operating, with modern technology.
The water supply scheme still needs more efforts,
The workshop on hazards and disasters took place in Sofala however, as water supply remains a critical problem
and Manica provinces. Workshop participants observed that in some parts of the province, such as at the newly
the most common disasters affecting Sofala province were established hospital in the outskirts of the Nampula
floods, wildfires and coastal erosion; while Manica province city.
was mostly hit by wildfires, drought, earthquakes and water
pollution. The research needs identified in this workshop Some challenges identified included the following:
included: • Poor maintenance of some of the tourist attractions
• Mapping areas prone to natural and human-induced despite the economic importance of this sector
hazards and disasters • Poor use of available medical facilities (for example,
12 ICSU ROA 29th ICSU GA – Report On Associated Events
pregnancies are monitored in the hospital but deliveries • Quality control should be effected at all levels of
mostly take place out of the hospital, so patients are education
often rushed to hospital as a last resort after wasting • Bilingual education should be encouraged, to facilitate
time and resources in traditional healing homes) access to scientific information.
• High rates of absenteeism from work due to ill-health
of workers or of their family members, and due to the General Discussion
deaths of relatives Responding to the presentations for this session, the scientists
• High rates of teenage pregnancy pointed out that Africa is very diversified and has problems
• Government policy to centralize certain services, which as well as capabilities. While it is important to point out the
frustrates private enterprises (for example, the high problems, it is also necessary to provide a clear picture of the
capacity printing press in Nampula is operating below continent’s capabilities, and to identify what would be needed
its potential because all school text books have to be to transform the potentials into products.
produced in Maputo).
It was also noted that much information and many
For their part, the people of Nampula province questioned technologies are available on the continent, but that these
why scientists have still not been able to produce a vaccine are not fully utilized. It is therefore necessary to improve the
against HIV. This question was retained as a crucial research sharing of knowledge and technologies to optimize their
need, in addition to the research areas identified in the ICSU utilization.
ROA science plan on Health and Human Well-being, which
also addresses most of the concerns of the Mozambican Concluding Remarks
people. In her concluding remarks, Aida Opoku-Mensah, Director
of ISTD at UNECA, emphasized the role of science and
The workshop on education was held in Gaza province and technology (S&T) as a necessary tool for socio-economic
it focused on discussing strategies to improve and facilitate development. She noted that knowledge is at the heart of
education at all levels. The issues discussed included: development, and that qualified researchers are necessary
• Adoption of the Unity for the Development of Basic to produce a broad base of knowledge relevant to the
Education (UDEBA) approach for school construction solution of current and future societal problems. She drew
and rehabilitation the attention of the audience to some crucial questions, such
• Distance learning for communities with low population as how to strengthen S&T policy linkages with development
densities policies; what lessons have been learnt from the past that
• Development of tools for pedagogic supervision can enable effective STI policy implementation; and how
• Encouragement of entrepreneurship among students to strengthen dialogue between politicians and scientists in
• The role of higher education institutions in basic order to ensure the political leadership required to develop
professional training and implement appropriate STI policies.
• Development of indicators for assessment of quality
and performance of the educational system Ms Opoku-Mensah remarked that politicians are concerned
• The contribution of philosophy to education. with seeking strategies to solve real-life problems as quickly
as possible. For this reason, the scientific knowledge that
Participants at the workshop recommended that: interests them has to be relevant and applicable to a particular
• Collaboration among teaching institutions in Africa policy problem. Such an approach tends to solve problems in
should be encouraged and strengthened the short term, and places emphasis on quick results. She also
• Regional integration of systems of educational should noted that scientists often complain about politicians not fully
be encouraged appreciating the importance of their work, and that too much
• Research in education should be oriented towards bureaucracy often slows down planned research activities.
solving local problems She recommended the creation of more opportunities for
• Entrepreneurship should be a priority in education interaction between the two parties so that the message
• The role of technical training should be strengthened from scientists can be presented to politicians in language
29th ICSU GA – Report On Associated Events ICSU ROA 13
that non-specialists would understand. This would enable programme in basic sciences, and conferences for young as
discussions that lead to useful scientific advice to policy, as well as female scientists
well as feedback policy guidance to scientific research.
Young Entrepreneurs for Africa
1.5 Closing Session Ms Sandra Irobi presented the Young Entrepreneurs for
Africa (YEFA), an NGO established in The Netherlands
Remarks by the Chair of ICSU RCA with the main objective of fostering the impact of Africa’s
The Chair of the ICSU Regional Committee for Africa (ICSU professionals on the continent. She explained that YEFA
RCA), Professor Gabriel Ogunmola, expressed appreciation has the vision to facilitate Africa’s development and
to the ICSU Executive Board for agreeing to hold its 29th transformation through its own young students, graduates
GA in sub-Saharan Africa for the first time in the history and active entrepreneurs, particularly those in the Diaspora.
of the organization. He congratulated the Government This vision would be realized through practical techno-social
of Mozambique for supporting AICIMO in its bid to host entrepreneurship engagement. The potential partners in this
the GA, adding that both ICSU ROA and ICSU RCA had endeavour include educational institutions, African embassies
committed themselves to share the challenge to ensure in host countries, as well as governments, the private sector
the GA’s success with AICIMO and the government of and individuals.
Mozambique. He praised the innovative idea of organizing
pre-GA workshops, an initiative that gave additional flavour According to Ms Irobi, YEFA plans to achieve its mission by
to the activities of the GA. providing information and training aimed at changing current
mind-sets; using YEFA’s policy think tank to create awareness
Professor Ogunmola expressed delight in seeing scientists and organize debates and relevant actions on Africa’s design
from the whole world gathered to discuss science in Africa, and evaluation of investment policies to encourage young
and cautioned that the continent ought not to be left professionals; providing platforms and opportunities to
behind in the global development train. He reminded the create practical business start-ups; and facilitating peer-to-
audience that ICSU ROA was the first of four ICSU Regional peer partnerships, networks, and collaborations with non-
Offices to be established, and that it is, so far, taking the African counterparts.
lead in implementation of the ICSU strategic plan through
the preparation, publication and implementation of its four ICSU ROA Book launch (Sospeter Muhongo)
science plans and the projects therein. He called on Africans The book, entitled Science, Technology and Innovation for
to stand united in applying science and technology to solve Socio-Economic Development: Success stories from Africa,
Africa’s numerous challenges, pointing out that ICSU ROA edited by ICSU ROA, was introduced by Professor Sospeter
serves as the unifying factor for a consolidated scientific Muhongo, Director of the ICSU Regional Office for Africa.
community on the continent. The aim of the book is to promote science education and
research in Africa, and to showcase Africa’s contribution to the
Statement from Professor Mohamed Hassan world’s development of STI as a legacy of the ICSU General
(TWAS/AAS) Assembly. It will be useful to scientists, engineers, technologists,
Professor Mohamed Hassan presented a brief history of the educators, and policy- and decision-makers engaged in
Academy of Sciences for the Developing Countries (TWAS) socio-economic development programmes in Africa, as well
and explained the purpose of its creation. He discussed the as to public and private sectors that have an interest in the
main focus of TWAS, which is to promote human capacity sustainable utilization and profitable commercialization of
development in developing countries. He pointed out that Africa’s natural resources. Professor Muhongo presented
many nations need to build a critical mass of scientists, and the contents of the book and congratulated the contributing
that this can be achieved by post-graduate training that authors and the editors. Professor Venancio Massingue,
involves South-South as well as North-South cooperation. Minister of Science and Technology, Mozambique, officiated
In this endeavour, TWAS organizes research capacity building at this launch.
programmes such as, amongst others, the research grants
14 ICSU ROA 29th ICSU GA – Report On Associated Events
Statement from AMCOST Secretariat
2 The Dialogue on
Dr Umar Bindir stressed the link between government, Science, Technology and
industry, and research and development, on the one hand, and Innovation in Africa
the recognition and application of attributes of free market,
rule of law and science-based technology on the other The dialogue was led by a panel composed of the Hon.
hand. This phenomenon has worked for Europe and North Professor Ibrahim Ahmed Omer, Minister of Science and
America, and is now being applied in Asia and Latin America. Technology, Sudan (Chair); the Hon. Derek Hanekom, Deputy
It can also work for Africa. He emphasized the opportunities Minister of Science and Technology, South Africa; the Hon. Dr
presented by the proper functioning of organizations such Becky Ndjoze-Ojo, Deputy Minister of Education, Namibia;
as the African Ministerial Council on Science and Technology Professor Gabriel Ogunmola, Chair of ICSU Regional
(AMCOST) working closely with partners such as ICSU Committee for Africa; and Dr Umar Bindir, Secretary General
ROA, UNECA, UNESCO, and others. of AMCOST. Professor Sospeter Muhongo, Director of ICSU
ROA, introduced the dialogue, explaining that it aimed at
Dr Bindir noted that Africa is increasingly recognizing the having an in-depth discussion of some of the issue raised
importance of science and technology in addressing the during the Symposium, and based on the implementation
numerous problems faced by the continent’s communities. of the ICSU ROA science plans. He outlined the following
He cited, as examples, the adoption of the theme “Science topics to be covered in the dialogue:
and Technology” for the year 2007 at the 8th Summit of (i) The role of STI in the attainment of the Millennium
African Heads of State and Government in January 2007; the Development Goals (MDGs)
resolution by the African Heads of State and Government (ii) STI partnership between Africa and Europe, and the
to commit a minimum of 1% of their GDP to research and rest of the world
development; the numerous conferences and workshops (iii) The involvement of the African Diaspora in STI activities
held recently on the continent focusing on science and in Africa
technology; and the dedicated involvement of African (iv) Funding of science research and development (R&D) in
government representatives in the one-day Symposium in Africa.
discussing science, technology and innovation in Africa.
Closing Remarks (Hon.Venancio Massingue) 2.1 The Role of STI in the
The Minister of Science and Technology of the Republic of Attainment of the Millennium
Mozambique, Professor Venancio Massingue, expressed his Development Goals
appreciation for the smooth organization of the Symposium,
and the enthusiasm with which both scientists and policy From the discussion on this topic, the
makers engaged in valuable discussions. He thanked ICSU following points emerged.
ROA for creating the opportunity for such a discussion (i) The MDGs were conceived in the “dire need of
forum, which benefited from the presence of renowned emergency solutions to address Africa’s problems”, but
scientists from around the world. The Minister expressed it is important to recognize that African countries need
great satisfaction with the proceedings of the Symposium, and more than emergency solutions to problems. They
recommended the adoption of developmental approaches need actions towards sustainable development. The
that would target the grassroots’ population to improve their MDGs do not completely cover the desired drivers of
livelihoods. He then declared the Symposium closed. development. For example, energy is not among the
MDGs but it is an essential driver of all other aspects
of development. The MDGs and the infrastructure
required to achieve them were never discussed with
the people targeted in the goals. A holistic approach,
where science becomes the driver, is required for these
goals to be achieved.
29th ICSU GA – Report On Associated Events ICSU ROA 15
(ii) Achievement of the MDGs follows a linear progression 2.2 STI Partnership between Africa
that needs to be dealt with professionally. For example, and Europe, and the Rest of
poverty cannot be alleviated when the people are not the World
educated. Universal education, therefore, constitutes
the starting point to achieve the goal of reducing From the discussion on this topic the
poverty. following points were raised.
(iii) Science and technology development needs to be (i) There are numerous openings for partnership
established systematically at all levels, including research between Africa and the industrialized countries.
in basic and applied sciences, and the commercialization The Blair convention for example, advocates for EU
of the products of science, engineering and technology. funding to support research and development in Africa.
(iv) Governments know the “real” objectives of the MDGs, However, some pressure is required from the African
but have failed to recognize the essential drivers governments to get such plans implemented.
required to achieve these goals. These drivers include (ii) There are some partnership projects already in operation,
adaptation of science and technology in order to such as the Europe–Africa partnership for capacity
reduce dependence and to create jobs; protection building workshops in the basic sciences. This initiative
of intellectual property rights; and development of is driven by the European Science Foundation (ESF), the
country-specific models synergized by the AU through Royal Netherlands Academy of Sciences (KNAW), the
NEPAD and AMCOST. Network of African Science Academies (NASAC) and
(v) It is necessary to encourage multi-stakeholder and ICSU through its Regional Office for Africa.
multidisciplinary partnerships to leverage outputs (iii) African research groups and universities have benefited
towards meeting the MDGs. from funding from European countries such as Sweden,
(vi) Experts and specialized institutions with expertise in but most African countries lack organized research
specific fields need to be engaged by governments at groups with which such funded partnerships can be
national and regional scales to address the relevant established. In some cases, partnership funds are
MDGs pertaining to their expertise. diverted through corrupt practices.
(vii) The diversity of Africa and the wide variation in individual (iv) There are many uncoordinated programmes in Africa,
country specificities must be considered in designing and the AU should be the nucleus through which
programmes to meet the MDGs. Implementation of efforts may be channelled. However, it should be
the programmes also requires mobilizing and involving recognized that strategies for partnership in research
the targeted local communities. Such programmes support vary from one country to another, based on
should have well defined measurable impacts on the the specific country priorities. Therefore, continent-
population. scale partnership frameworks may be difficult to
(viii) National governments need to set visible milestones to achieve.
assess the level of implementation and achievements of (v) Partnership initiatives should not focus only on Europe,
development programmes. but also look elsewhere. For example, cooperation
(ix) Agriculture is the main economic activity in Africa between Africa and other leading developing countries
and should be given priority in most development such as China, India, South Korea and Brazil needs to be
programmes. strengthened. South-South cooperation should exploit
(x) The UN Millennium report by the Task Force on the potential within the continent before going abroad.
Science, Technology and Innovation under the Tri-lateral (South-South-North) partnerships should
leadership of Professor Calestus Juma, “Innovation: also be encouraged. Success stories in any African
applying knowledge in development”, needs to be country should be identified and replicated in other
systematically analysed to see how it can be applied to countries facing similar problems.
meet the MDGs. The report deals mainly with issues (vi) It is important for African countries to get their houses
of infrastructure development, energy and transport in in order first, interact more with each other, and share
Africa. their experiences and challenges, before reaching out
16 ICSU ROA 29th ICSU GA – Report On Associated Events
(vii) Partnership programmes should aim at transfer and studies (CARS), which is hosted at the University of
domestication of science and technology. South Africa (UNISA). Other potential partners in this
(viii) Partnership requires equal strength of negotiation project are AU/NEPAD, the Development Bank of
and equal knowledge, but this is not usually the case. Southern Africa (DBSA) and UNESCO.
Partnership programmes should be relevant to the (iv) The CARS, in collaboration with its partners, is currently
African agenda. African governments should engage conducting a study on the establishment of centres of
development partners on specific terms as equal excellence involving African experts in the Diaspora.
partners, and not on giver–taker arrangements. (v) Some African experts in the Diaspora have become
Opportunities need to be created for foreign interests significant icons in the world of STI. Such individuals, as,
to match local interests on the challenges identified. for example, the Malian IT engineer working for NASA,
(ix) Equal strength in partnership negotiations requires should specifically be targeted to develop STI in Africa.
experts in the field, and this may call for training of (vi) The African Diaspora can be involved through
scientists to be policy advisers and to represent their partnership projects, whereby a project in Africa is
governments in partnership negotiations. Such scientists funded by a foreign institution hosting the Diaspora.
need to be informed about the issues where advice is Such projects will provide the opportunity for
needed and should focus on the set goals. members of the African Diaspora to employ their skills
(x) Partnership initiatives are often frustrated by the fact to develop STI on the continent.
that government officials have to face such challenges (vii) Expertise of the African Diaspora can already be
as finding compromises between local political agendas, exploited by involving its members in relevant on-going
geo-politics, and conflicting donor interests. development programmes.
2.3 Involvement of the African 2.4 Funding of Science Research
Diaspora in STI and Activities and Development in Africa
From the discussion of funding mechanisms for science
With regard to involvement of the African Diaspora in research and development (R&D) in Africa the following
STI activities on the continent, it was admitted that several points were raised.
initiatives have been made and that there is now a strong (i) African researchers operate in a vicious cycle of no
recognition of the need to harmonize the efforts and drive research funding ↔ no output. Governments need to be
the process forward, building from the ongoing activities sensitized by scientists to break this cycle by providing
while learning from lessons of the past. The following specific dedicated funding for research, with the budget for
issues were raised. salaries separated from that for conducting research.
(i) The concept of the African Diaspora is evolving and (ii) Each country needs to get its R&D programme right
there is no specificity on how to tackle it. before considering how to fund it. Local funding should
(ii) The initiative of the African Diaspora plough-back be exploited first before supplementary funding is
came from members of the Diaspora themselves in sought from elsewhere. Donor funding goes with the
the first place, so it is not necessary to discuss how to risk of compromising Africa’s independence, as donor
engage them, but rather to discuss the frameworks that interest may conflict with and compromise the interest
need to be put in place to facilitate this engagement. and agenda of the recipient.
The AU report on the Diaspora initiative has indicated (iii) Most S&T funding from government is limited to the
what each party ought to do. payment of salaries, while the actual research has to rely
(iii) One ongoing initiative that should be built upon is on external funding. AU/NEPAD should re-orientate its
that of establishing a database of African experts in plans to focus more on funding research to solve local
the Diaspora. This is an elaborate project run by ICSU problems.
ROA, the National Research Foundation (NRF) of (iv) There seems to be a conflict of interest in the AU/
South Africa, and the Centre for African Renaissance NEPAD STCPA, whereby governments and the
29th ICSU GA – Report On Associated Events ICSU ROA 17
research community are divided on the governance of 2.5 Issues of General Concern
the implementation of the plan. This conflict may be
resolved by developing a hybrid plan. (i) Capacity building remains a big challenge on the
(v) Africa needs to know how to deploy its resources. This continent. One step towards resolving the issue could
requires setting priorities and developing a regional be to match African higher education institutions
strategy. With such a strategy, donor funding can be with those in developed countries for collaboration
requested and obtained through a unitary structure in research and training through staff and student
rather than through fragmented requests from exchange programmes.
individual institutions or governments. It is necessary (ii) Vocational training needs to be reinforced and incentives
to understand the operational modalities of global created for science students at all educational levels.
conventions that fund development projects in order (iii) Functioning ICT infrastructure needs to be
to be able to benefit from such funding. strengthened on the continent as this constitutes an
(vi) Big endowment funding is needed, which, if properly essential tool for linkages among scientists, as well as
invested, should be able to generate further funding in for broader connectivity among various role players in
future. Governments can raise substantial endowment socio-economic development.
funds through simple and easily applicable taxation, (iv) Each country needs to carry out stringent self-
such as, for example, a minimal tax on telephone calls. examination through a SWOT analysis, and then design
(vii) Research funding needs to be distributed between its way forward. Sometimes available technologies
fundamental or basic research (to keep pace with the cannot be applied because of governance constraints.
rest of the world) and applied research to solve local (v) It is important to develop local facilities for training, so
problems. as to curb brain drain.
(viii) African policy-makers seem to have submitted to foreign (vi) The concept of centres of excellence does not seem
forces for the development of the continent. Both to be a priority for Africa. It might be more useful to
government and the private sector need imperatively deploy efforts for attainment of excellence at various
to contribute to research and development. Proper levels than simply to designate institutions as centres of
legislation is required to enforce such obligatory excellence.
contributions. Governments need to create incentives (vii) Application of science and technology for sustainable
for the private sector to invest in R&D. development requires the deployment of simple but
(ix) There is too much bureaucracy in science and tangible solutions to common societal problems.
technology, whereby the bulk of the budget goes into (viii) There is a need to improve communication among
administration, with too little trickling down to fund government, R&D communities or agencies, and the
research. private sector on issues relating to the application of
(x) To attract research funding, projects need to be S&T for development.
designed to have a visible impact on the glaring (ix) Outstanding scientists are often withdrawn from
problems facing local communities. Standards need to practicing science and, instead, are loaded with
be set for identifying ‘first class’ research in Africa, which administrative responsibilities, which reduce the capacity
can attract private sector buy-in and funding. to conduct science. Such senior scientists deployed to
(xi) Some foreign donors have lost faith in African administration need to continue to be available for
institutions because of poor accountability for research the development of science and for training a new
grants. Sometimes the funds are diverted to other uses generation of scientists.
and nothing is left to implement the R&D projects.
(xii) Africa lacks organized research groups that can attract
the interest of foreign donors. There is no proper
coordination of efforts within or among African
18 ICSU ROA 29th ICSU GA – Report On Associated Events
2.6 The Dialogue on STI in Africa: funded the participation of more than 25 South African
(iii) The German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)
provided ICSU ROA with funds to facilitate the
The following resolutions were proposed.
participation of DAAD alumni in Africa.
(i) Create national, regional and international research
(iv) The International Foundation for Science (IFS) provided
groups to address specific problems by applying
funds to ICSU ROA to facilitate the participation of IFS
science, technology and innovation.
grantees in Africa.
(ii) Create a research fund under the umbrella of AU/
(v) The World Bank provided funds to the Ministry of
UNECA/ICSU ROA to guide appropriate funding of
Science and Technology (MCT), Mozambique, to
targeted problem-solving research into burning issues
support local organizational expenses.
on the continent.
(vi) The Mozambican Airport Authority (Aeroportos de
(iii) Create linkages of research groups with the private
Moçambique) provided funds to the Government
sector to fund research for business promotion and
of Mozambique through MCT, to facilitate travel
arrangements for government invitees.
(iv) Set up research standards for first-class research in
(vii) Millennium BIM and Ernst & Young provided funds to
Africa so that the results can be taken up as investments
MCT to support local organizational expenses.
by the business sector.
(viii) The Mozambican Electricity Corporation (Electricidade
(v) Adopt existing success stories in Africa and apply them
de Moçambique) supported the MCT in paying some
in other countries with similar problems.
of the bills.
(vi) Hold frequent dialogues between researchers and
(ix) Mcel (a Mozambican cell phone company) supported
policy-makers to enable better understanding of the
the MCT in paying some bills, in addition to offering
roles played by each party and the challenges faced,
free starter packs to members of the Local Organizing
and to enable them, jointly, to map a sustainable and
impact-yielding research and development agenda.
(x) Hidroelectrica de Cabora Bassa (HCB) pledged
(vii) Create an enabling environment for African human
a financial donation to MCT to facilitate some
resources, including those in the Diaspora, to contribute
to STI development on the continent.
The ICSU Regional Office for Africa and the Ministry of
Science and Technology, Mozambique, are profoundly
grateful to the following institutions for financial and/or
material donations that have been vital for the successful
organization of the 29th ICSU General Assembly and its
(i) The Swedish International Development Agency
(SIDA) provided funds to ICSU ROA to facilitate the
participation of African scientists, including those in
ICSU Regional Office for Africa
the Diaspora, and government officials (Ministers).
P.O. Box 13252 Hatfield
SIDA also provided funds to the Government of
Mozambique (Ministry of Science and Technology) to
Republic of South Africa
defray certain local organizational expenses.
Tel: +27 (0)12 4814090
(ii) The National Research Foundation (NRF), South Africa,
Email: email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org
provided all the stationery and publicity material for
the 29th ICSU GA and its Associated Events, and
29th ICSU GA – Report On Associated Events ICSU ROA 19
20 ICSU ROA 29th ICSU GA – Report On Associated Events
Regional Of fice for
ICSU Regional Office for Africa
PO Box 13252
Republic of South Africa
Tel: +27 12 481 4090
Fax: + 27 12 481 4273
Fax: +27 86 518 0907