Recommendations proposed by participants of the capacity building workshop

IAP Programmes

Recommendations proposed by participants of the capacity building workshop - Trieste 16-18 May 2001


1. We, the participants in the Workshop on Capacity Building for Academies in Africa, held in Trieste, 16-18 May 2001, are grateful to the InterAcademy Panel on International Issues (IAP) and the Third World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) for the organization of the event and the National Academy of Sciences, USA and the Fondation Bettencourt-Schueller, France, for the financial support given. Furthermore,
- recognizing that academy autonomy and independence forms the foundation for freedom of action and therefore must be fundamental aspects of each Academy's scientific and intellectual mission;

- mindful of the tasks and challenges of mobilising the entire scientific communities for sustainable development in each African country and the problems faced by young academies of science in the service of national interests;

- appreciating the participation at the workshop of Ministers of Science and Technology from Kenya, Madagascar, Nigeria and South Africa, and a representative for the Minister of Science and Technology of Ghana;

- valuing the highly useful information on issues affecting both science and science academies in Africa, the experience of the established academies in solving similar issues, and the advice of the Ministers of Science and Technology;

Recommend:
- participating academies of science in Africa establish a network, with the African Academy of Sciences (AAS), whose primary source of information-exchange would be a website;
- the African countries with scientific critical mass, but without an academy, be encouraged to establish academies of science, ideally one per country, and subsequently join the network;
- the African Academy of Sciences (AAS) and the InterAcademy Panel on International Issues (IAP) assist countries without a critical mass of scientists to form science associations. Until then, these countries should provide their scientists with avenues for full participation in all scientific and technological activities;
- the academies of science in Africa recruit excellent scientists as new members. Particular attention should be paid to the election of competent women scientists who satisfy the criteria;
- in addition to members, a wide range of experts, national and international, should server as policy advisors and participate in the academies' activities;
- academies encourage their members to contribute to public education and understanding through participation in public lectures, symposia, education and training activities, science projects and programmes;
- academies emphasize the role and function of national academies in advising governments on scientific, technological, economic and ethical issues either on request or on their own initiative;
- academies create clear communication lines among themelves, the press, and public;
- academies devise strategies for involving Africa's diaspora in academy activities by, whenever possible, recruiting members of the diaspora into academies and utilizing their knowledge and skills for training, advice and help in fund raising;
- academies work together and with governments and universities to enhance their effectiveness.

2. Further,
- realising the need to improve the financial base of all science academies in Africa; and
- noting the necessity for the establishment of a sustainable funding mechanism;

Recommend:
a) governments provide endowment schemes for academies at a sufficient level to ensure that the interest accrued by the fund covers the baseline functioning of academy activities; and

b) academies diversify their funding sources through well-designed fund-raising campaigns, endowments, projects, government contracts, publication sales, subscription fees, and provision of services.

List of Signatories (in country order)

J.P. Ezin, Université Nationale du Benin, Benin; Sisai Mpuchane, University of Botswana, Botswana; E.M. Krieger, Brazilian Academy of Sciences (ABC), Brazil; Victor Anomah Ngu, Cameroon Academy of Sciences; Cameroon; Attia Abdel Salam Ashour, Cairo University, Egypt; Mohamed Yousri M. Moursy, Academy of Scientific Research and Technology (ASRT), Egypt; Y. Quéré, Académie des Sciences, France; Kofi Deh, Ghana Embassy in Rome, Italy; S. Ofosu-Amaah, Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences, Ghana; Attila Meskó, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Hungary; C.N.R. Rao, TWAS and JNCASR, India; Massimo Livi-Bacci, Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Italy; M.H.A. Hassan, African Academy of Sciences and TWAS, Kenya/Italy; Henry Kosgey, Minister for Education, Science and Technology, Kenya; Shem O. Wandiga, Kenya National Academy of Sciences (KNAS), Kenya; G.B.A. Okelo, African Academy of Sciences, Kenya; George Solay Rakotonirainy, Minister of Scientific Research, Madagascar; Cesaire Rabenoro, Malagasy Academy, Madagascar; Dato Ye
e-Cheong Lee, Akademi Sains Malaysia, Malaysia; Turner T. Isoun, Minister of Science and Technology, Nigeria; Alexander O.E. Animalu, Nigerian Academy of Sciences, Nigeria; El Hadji Ibrahima Diop, Academy des Sciences et Techniques du Senegal (ASTS), Senegal; B.S. Ngubane, Minister of Arts, Culture, Science & Technology, South Africa; Wieland Gevers, Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf), South Africa; Janne Carlsson, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (RSAS), Sweden; G.O.P. Obasi, World Meteorological Organization, Switzerland; Peter M. Msolla, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Tanzania; Najia Kbir-Ariguib, Institut National de Recherche Scientifique et Technique (INRST), Tunisia; P.E. Mugambi, Uganda National Academy of Sciences (UNAS), Uganda; Stephen Cox, The Royal Society, United Kingdom; John Boright, National Academy of Sciences (NAS), USA; Christopher J. Chetsanga, Scientific and Industrial Research and Development Centre (SIRDC), Zimbabwe.

Trieste, 13 June 2001