The SADC Ministers responsible for Education, Training, Science, Technology and Innovationheld a joint meeting in Ezulwini, Kingdom of Swaziland from 22-23 June 2017 to review progress and implementation of on-going programmes and initiatives in the related sectors, and in particular, in relation to the regional priority agenda.
Ministers made decisions on key policy and strategic instruments of cooperation and regional integration in the areas of education and training, and science, technology and innovation (STI) in the context of the revised SADC Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) 2015-2020, and in support of the implementation of the SADC Industrialisation Action Plan (2015-2063) which was approved by Council in March 2017 in the Kingdom of Swaziland.
The meeting was officially opened by the Right Honourable Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Swaziland, Dr. Sibusiso Barnabas Dlamini, who informed participants that the SADC region has identified education, science, technology and innovation as vital components in developing its citizen’s capabilities to shine globally.
The SADC Deputy Executive Secretary responsible for Regional Integration, Dr. Thembinkosi Mhlongo also graced the occasion. Dr. Mhlongo highlighted that successful industrialisation and value chain development requires investment in science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills at all levels of education.
Representatives from the African Union Commission, United Nations Educational Cultural and Scientific Organisation (UNESCO), New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), International Council for Science Regional Office for Africa (ICSU-ROA), SADC Centre for Distance Education (SADC CDE), Southern Africa Network for Biosciences (SANBio), Southern African Network of Water Centres of Excellence (SANWATCE), Southern African Research and Innovation Management Association (SARIMA), MIET Africa, Southern African Regional Universities Association (SARUA) and representatives from the Diplomatic corps also attended the meeting.
The meeting concluded with the launch of the SADC Regional Qualifications Frameworks (RQF), which will be used as reference framework and a guiding tool on quality assurance guidelines and a database portal which will incorporate full and part-time qualifications. The SADC RQF communication Strategy has been developed and is being implemented with the establishment of Social Media Platforms such as Twitter and Facebook accounts.