The Southern Africa Network for Bioscience (SANBio) is taking an initiative to visit its member countries after the endorsement of its 2013-2018 business plan. The SANBio secretariat visited Lesotho on a two-day trip from 30 June -1 July 2014 to present the business plan, assess and establish collaboration opportunities, and align with the national priorities.
As much as the SANBio provides a shared research, development and innovation platform for working collaboratively to address some of Southern Africa’s key biosciences issues in health, nutrition and health-related intervention areas such as agriculture and environment, the organisation took an initiative to visit three institutions namely; National University of Lesotho, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Agriculture.
Prof F.C.L. Rakotsoane, Acting Pro-Vice Chancellor, National University of Lesotho, “We have in our mist today government official from department of Science and Technology and a special delegation from NEPAD and SANBio as our guest. We feel greatly honoured that the department of Science and Technology has chosen us as an ideal place where it could host this very important delegation. “As the university we believe that the interaction will be informative and fruitful especially to our scholars and researchers”
He further elucidates “I would like to urge our scholars and researchers to take full advantage of today’s interaction with the delegation and make use of the collaborative research opportunities presented to them by this interaction.”
The programme included a tour of National University of Lesotho tissue culture laboratories and the green house, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Agriculture where the delegation interacted with the representatives.
“We always have a challenge when it comes to research funds as the ministry of health. The funds that we get are not enough to execute projects, and as a department we are facing a serious challenge because people produce concoctions and tradition remedies that they claim are cue for various diseases like HIV/AIDS, some bring them to us to test them but we cannot do test for them because we do not have enough funds. Toady am glad that SANBio came to present to us the opportunities, we start looking for partners to form a consortium as this is one of the prerequisite because we really need funds” said Deputy Director Ministry of Health, Dr Letsie.
“We heard about SANBio but we did not know its role and how it can help us, with the information we have receive we want to tell you that we are committed to get the funds because we need money to address some of agricultural issues that we faced with as a country. We want to assure that we will come up with a tangible document. With those words I want to thank Mr Lefa Thamae for making it possible for us to meet Dr Chakauya and also to thank the delegate for informative presentation,” She said Ms Maleoa Mohloboli, Director of the department of Agriculture Research.
Mr Lefa Thamae, Director of the Department of Communication, Science and Technology concluded the proceedings by saying “we are the first country visited by SANBio after the endorsement of the business plan. Let us take advantage of this opportunity, and work together. I humbly request to start looking for partners and outlining your research topic that you interested in, so that by the time they call in for proposal we are ready”.