Continental bodies collaborate to boost science granting councils
The Association of African Universities (AAU) has announced it is collaborating with the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) to strengthen the continent’s science granting councils under the Science Granting Councils Initiative (SGCI).
The SGCI, which is in its second phase, will strengthen the capacities of Africa’s science granting councils to play their essential roles effectively and efficiently in research, knowledge generation and innovation through training, technical support and peer-to-peer learning, according to a recent press statement.
It is a multi-funder project supported by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development, Canada’s International Development Research Centre, South Africa’s National Research Foundation and the DFG or German Research Foundation.
National policy systems
It is against this background that the AAU announced it has taken steps to change the situation in its 2020-2025 Strategic Plan, prioritising closer engagement with national policy systems in African countries, while the AAS Strategy emphasises strengthening of African institutions to become excellent and adaptable to proven needs.
The AAU said Africa’s science granting councils are key players and strategic partners in improving the continent’s scientific research outputs in order to achieve continental policy initiatives such as the African Union’s Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa 2024 and the Continental Education Strategy for Africa 2016-2025.
“The overall goal of the project is to fortify the capability of science granting councils in explicit areas of research management, namely research excellence, research ethics, emerging scientific practices (especially open data, open access and scientific citizenship) and development of online grant management systems,” said Jonathan Mba, AAU director of research and academic planning.