Part of the vision of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) is to develop a region where science and technology drive sustainable social and economic development, alleviate poverty and disease, and underpin the creation of employment opportunities and wealth. Most of the challenges facing regional integration as identified in Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (2003) such as food security, energy, water, transport, communications infrastructure and human resources development will require scientific and technological solutions.
Science and Technology as a cross-cutting theme in the region can be used to develop and strengthen national systems of innovation in order to drive sustained socio-economic development and the rapid achievement of the goals of the SADC common agenda including poverty reduction and eradication.
Protocol on Science, Technology and Innovation
A Protocol on Science, Technology and Innovation was signed by SADC Heads of State and Government in Johannesburg, South Africa, in August 2008. It is a blueprint document that outlines the framework of cooperation between Member States within the SADC region. It came about through extensive deliberations between Member States and covers scientific and technological matters of interest within the region. Some of the aims and objectives of the Protocol in the region are to:
- Strengthen regional cooperation and coordination
- Promote the development and harmonisation of policies
- Share experiences and pool resources
- Promote public understanding, awareness and participation
- Promote the value of Indigenous Knowledge Systems and technologies
- Attract, motivate and retain scientists
- Strengthen institutional capacity and facilitate institutional cooperation and networks
- Enhance and strengthen the protection of intellectual property rights
- Increase access to the teaching and learning of basic science and mathematics
- Promote gender equity and equality in the teaching and learning at all levels of education