FIRST ASTII VIRTUAL TRAINING WORKSHOP, 12-14 MAY 2021
WELCOMING REMARKS BY CEO-NISTI MR.XAVIER ESTICO.
Mr. Symerre Grey-Jonson, Director, Technical Cooperation and Programme Funding, African Union Development Agency – NEPAD, Ms. Anneline Morgan, Senior Programme Officer – Science, Technology and Innovation, Directorate of Industrial Development and Trade (IDT), SADC Secretariat, Prof. F. Tagwira, Secretary for Higher and Tertiary Education, Innovation, Science and Technology Development, Distinguished participants, ladies and gentlemen:
Good afternoon to you all
May I join the previous speakers to welcome you to this virtual training workshop with the exclusive focus on STI measurement being part of facilitator of this workshop.
In the process of the development of our National STI Policy and Strategy in 2015, only one year after the enactment of National Institute for Science Technology and Innovation (NISTI), we identified through broad stakeholders consultations the gap in STI data. To this effect, a National Knowledge Engagement Management Platform for hosting STI data with access to all became a core element of the institutional arrangements of our National STI Integrated Governance System, recognizing that STI data are important national assets.
We are forever grateful to NEPAD-AU for assisting us as early as 2016 when we hosted a workshop in May and had an intensive training in August, planning for our first survey in that same workshop. Due to lack of confidence amongst our newly trained data collectors, we called for a second training workshop the same year in August. From there we carried out the survey and presented our findings a year later in August 2017 in a workshop hosted in Seychelles with a broad participation of interested parties in STI indicators. In the same workshop, we introduced the e-questionnaire to showcase how we were digitizing the whole process of the R&D and Innovation survey. Having caught the attention and interest in our approach to the survey by NEPAD-AU, we became part of the committee responsible for the development of OASTI data portal so that we could impart our expertise.
- Our journey shows how much importance and commitment we give to STI indicators.
We are cognizant of their contribution in the socio-economic development of our country, region and continent as a whole. However, the importance of STI indicators goes beyond the; designing and implementation of public policies and innovation strategies, setting of targets to meet government priorities, monitoring and evaluation, foresight studies and indicator research, resource allocation and international benchmarking. A digital platform of STI indicators provides us a window into our innovation systems, an insight into the competitive advantage of our value chains and attractiveness to investments. In this respect, it is imperative that we build national, and regional capacity in STI measurement, ensuring that data are accessible to all with clear user metrics in place to assess the return on investment in the development of digital STI assets.
At NISTI, we have placed a very high importance in digitizing the STI survey and we are pleased to assist you within our resources to build capacity in your own countries.
This workshop could have not come at a more opportune time, when we are all challenged by the Covid-19 pandemic and reinventing our socio-economic development models in the face of the post-Covid-19 realities. Only through sound STI data with access to all that we can come out of the pandemic, celebrate Africa’s Scientific Renaissance: and have Africa’s Contribution to Science and Technology in concert and collaboration though multi-lateral partnerships, especially with UNESCO’s initiatives and call for Open Science.
If we want to beat the pandemic, reinvent our socio-economic development models and achieve the UN SDGs as well as AU agenda 2063, we have no other way to reach those lofty goals without STI measurement and data accessibility to all.
May I avail myself of this opportunity to wish you all an engaging and active participation in this important workshop.
I thank you all for your attention.