The Division of Science, Technology and Innovation (DSTI), formerly NISTI, under the aegis of the Ministry of Investment, Entrepreneurship & Industry in partnership with AUDA-NEPAD and SADC held a five-day workshop in Mahe, Seychelles on the 6th – 11th March 2022. The meeting was officially opened by the Hon. Devika S.K. Vidot, Minister of Investment, Entrepreneurship and Industry, Seychelles. SANBio was represented by the Network Manager: Prof Ereck Chakauya, who presented on Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Job Creation: Conditions of success from National and regional Ecosystems.
The Republic of Seychelles launched its first-ever STI Policy and Strategy in 2016 which called for the collection of STI indicators for more evidence-based policy and decisions for the transition from a resource-based economy to a knowledge-based economy. Seychelles had its first R&D and Innovation Indicator Data collectors training in May 2016. In August of that same year, another session took place which prepared the Seychelles Team for its first R&D and Innovation Survey which took place between November 2016 to July 2017.
Seychelles believed that strengthening the data collector’s capacity will ensure that the data collected are reliable.
The current workshop had two main objectives. Firstly, the session was held to improve the STI measurement in the SADC region based on the Ministerial Decision on Education and Science, Technology Innovation of June 16, 2021. This implies the following:
- final adjustment of ASTII online survey instruments and validation by AUDA-NEPAD, SADC, and Seychelles;
- capacity strengthening in Innovation data collection (including Global Innovation Index, GII) and capacity building of new enumerators.
Secondly, the workshop aimed to engage with the Seychelles Government at the highest level in preparation for the First Annual Forum on STI measurement. This Forum is in collaboration with the African STI Forum coordinated by the African Development Bank (AFDB) and the consolidation of the second SADC regional report on R&D investment expected by Ministers of Education and Training (ET) and Science, technology and Innovation (STI). It will be held in June 2022.
The main activities of the workshop were
- adjustment of the ASTII digital survey instruments;
- capacity strengthening on Innovation data collection;
- alignment of ASTII phase 4 with ongoing projects under NEPAD/SANBio and the AUDA-NEPAD Centre of Excellence on STI (CoE-STI) for the enhancement of the SADC Reference Group on STI Indicators; and
- preparation of the second regional report with progress on the implementation of the Ministerial decision on STI digitalization with Seychelles.
Subsequently, Prof Chakauya had the privilege to meet with the Minister of Youth, Sports and family, Honourable Marie-Celline Zialor. With the menacing impact of the global covid-19-19 pandemic and other economic factors, unemployment and more specifically youth unemployment has increased to unprecedented levels. Science, Technology and Innovation has the potential to create sustainable jobs. Opportunities for collaboration between Seychelles and other SANbio member states were discussed with the minister including Youth in aquaculture under the program called Aquatrans and exchange programmes on the circular economy. Before she became minister, honourable Marie-Celline coordinated the SANBio/BioFISA Female BioBusiness (FemBioBiz programme in Seychelles at The Guy Morell Institute. SANBio congratulates her for championing women, gender and youth issues and being one of the torch-bearers of women empowerment in the continent.