4 April 2024

By Isabel Basson

From 6 to 8 March 2024, CREST hosted a workshop for the ongoing International Development Research Centre (IDRC)-funded project on The state of science, technology and innovation in Africa – a Science Granting Council (SGC) perspective. This event brought together a multinational team of researchers to plan the next steps for the project. The focus of the discussion were bibliometric indicators, which will help the project map science funding within the 17 countries that form part of the Science Granting Council Initiative (SGCI), and planned future dialogues with stakeholders and SGC representatives regarding the science funding landscape in Africa.

Workshop dinner at De Volkskombuis, Stellenbosch.

From left to right: Prof Johann Mouton, Marthie van Niekerk, Dr Rodrigo Costas, Dr Wilhelmina Quaye, Herman Redelinghuys, Dr Ahmed Hassan, Dr Mpho Mafata, Jonathan Dudek, Dr Heide Hackmann.

The workshop was a hybrid event, with at least one representative from each institution affiliated with the team in attendance in person. Multiple researchers from CREST attended the event, with Prof Johann Mouton kicking off the workshop by introducing the agenda for the week, and Dr Isabel Basson presenting on previous activities within the project. Dr Wilhemina Quaye, director at the CSIR-Science and Technology Policy Research Institute (CSIR-STEPRI) in Accra, Ghana, closed the first day with a discussion of the planned interviews with SGC representative regarding their role as it pertains to science funding in their respective countries. Prof Rodrigo Costas and Jonathan Dudek from Centre for Science and Technology Studies (CWTS) in Leiden, Netherlands, discussed and presented the bibliometric analysis of research grants and publication acknowledgements using the citation and grant databases of Dimensions.ai. Dr Heide Hackmann, director at Future Africa in Pretoria, South Africa, presented the critical dialogues with stakeholders and the final integrated project report.

During this workshop, the team explored various methods for disseminating the study’s outputs. One of the intended outputs is to incorporate the bibliometric indicators developed for this project on the South African Science Technology and Innovation (SASTI) platform. This online platform, currently under development by SciSTIP at CREST, hosts indicators that measure the different dimensions of the South African innovation system. The research team also plans to expand this section to include more African countries beyond the original 17 SGC countries.