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CSIR salutes researchers and calls for investment in R&D to accelerate Africa’s development goals

Publication Date: 
Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Reflecting on Africa Day, the CSIR urged fellow research organisations, governments and industries to work together in ensuring that science and technology is used to address the unique challenges faced by Africa and its people. The CSIR believes that connecting knowledge and research ecosystems is critical on the continent.

The Covid-19 pandemic has shown the world that for a country or continent to survive other pandemics that may occur in the future, collaboration and innovation must be at the forefront. Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, many research organisations including the CSIR have dedicated their resources to curb the spread of the virus and to find scientific solutions.

Contact Person

David Mandaha

+27 (12) 841 3654/072 126 8910

dmandaha@csir.co.za

The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) joined the rest of the African continent in commemorating Africa Day and used the day to celebrate scientists and researchers who are working tirelessly to find scientific solutions to worldwide problems, including the Covid-19 pandemic.

Commemorated annually on 25 May, Africa Day is a period where the founding of the Organisation of African Unity (AU) is celebrated and progressively reflected upon.

South Africa subscribes to the AU vision of “An integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its citizens and representing a dynamic force in the global arena.” The CSIR contributes towards this vision by collaborating with other partners in the African continent in developing science, engineering and technology solutions to address pressing challenges that the continent faces in its development trajectory.

Reflecting on Africa Day, the CSIR urged fellow research organisations, governments and industries to work together in ensuring that science and technology is used to address the unique challenges faced by Africa and its people. The CSIR believes that connecting knowledge and research ecosystems is critical on the continent.

The Covid-19 pandemic has shown the world that for a country or continent to survive other pandemics that may occur in the future, collaboration and innovation must be at the forefront. Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, many research organisations including the CSIR have dedicated their resources to curb the spread of the virus and to find scientific solutions. Researchers and scientists across the continent continue to be at the forefront of this fight.

For its part, the CSIR collaborated with a several local partners in South Africa to produce local ventilators that have been rolled out nationwide to patients showing respiratory distress in the early phases of Covid-19 infection. To date, the ventilators have been completed and delivered to hospitals and clinics. The organisation in collaboration with the Department of Health helped in tracking and tracing the spread of the virus across the country. In partnership with the National Health Laboratory Service, the CSIR has dedicated its Biosafety Level 3 laboratory in a bid to boost the country’s testing capacity.

The AU Heads of States adopted Agenda 2063 with the aim of transforming Africa into a global powerhouse through the acceleration of human capital, science and technology and innovation by increasing access to tertiary and continuing education in Africa by capitalising on the digital revolution and global knowledge.

The CSIR calls on governments and the private sector across the continent to invest more in research, development and innovation (RDI) in order to strengthen the competitiveness of African industries while providing solutions to societal challenges. The organisation believes that science, technology, engineering, innovation and meaningful industrial development are the catalysts through which the continent can grasp the opportunities that the continent has to offer. Science and technology is a sector that most developed nations promote to foster growth and development.

For seven and a half decades, the CSIR dedicated its resources to multidisciplinary research and development to respond to the non-inclusive economic growth faced by many developing African countries, which have led to the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment, and inequality.

Some of the RDI work the CSIR is conducting in the continent include Angola (disaster fire monitoring, marine and coastal research), Botswana (indigenous food products, frequency spectrum management), DRC and Tanzania (mine winder rope testing), Ethiopia (biorefinery training and roads research), Ghana and Rwanda (Umbiflow clinical trials), Kenya (Umbiflow clinical trials and marine and coastal research), Malawi and Mozambique (roads research) and Zambia (optanical remedy against HIV, and heat tolerance screening training for mines), among others.

The CSIR is currently working closely with the African Union Development Agency (AUDA-NEPAD) and Stellenbosch University in establishing the AUDA-NEPAD Centre of Excellence in Science, Technology and Innovation to unearth African homegrown innovation. It is expected to connect knowledge and research hubs with other knowledge and research ecosystems on the continent. The centre will be launched later this year.

-ENDS-

Issued by the CSIR Strategic Communication unit

Enquiries:
David Mandaha, CSIR Media Relations Manager
Tel: 012 841 3654
Mobile: 072 126 8910
E-mail: dmandaha@csir.co.za

About the CSIR:

The CSIR, an entity of the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Innovation, is one of the leading scientific and technology research, development and implementation organisations in Africa. Constituted by an Act of Parliament in 1945 as a science council, the CSIR undertakes directed and multidisciplinary research and technological innovation, as well as industrial and scientific development to improve the quality of life of all South Africans. For more information, visit www.csir.co.za

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