The NEPAD Southern Africa Network for Biosciences (SANBio) hosted a business plan (2013-2018) validation workshop in Pretoria from 14 to 15 November 2013. The main objective of the validation workshop was to solicit inputs from member states, recommendations from the different stakeholders and independent reviewers, and finalise the business plan document.
The two-day workshop drew participants from universities and research institutes from Botswana, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe. It was hosted by SANBio Secretariat, hosted at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), with financial support from the Department of Science and Technology (DST).
Dr Ereck Chakauya, SANBio Interim Network Manager, said: “The main objective of the workshop was for SANBio member states to discuss the final draft of the business plan; and agree on the thematic areas and implementation framework as discussed in the previous workshop, which was held in Livingstone, Zambia, in July during the business plan development stage. The expected outcome of the workshop was a final business plan document that will be adopted at different ministerial levels and then implemented.”
Dr Tichaona Mangwende, Programme Coordinator, NEPAD Agency Science, Technology & Innovation Hub (NEPAD-NSTIH), said: “The SANBio Business Plan is the primary document for engaging member states, development partners and other important stakeholders in biosciences.”
At the end of the workshop, there was a brief tour of the CSIR Biosciences unit facilities, which included the CSIR Biomanufacturing Industry Development Centre and the Botanical Supplies Unit. The tour gave participants an opportunity to see and experience, first hand, the role biotechnology plays in the development of the region.