SANBio Steering Committee meets to strategise

SANBio SC meeting participants, from left to right: Mr Xavier Estico, Mr Barnabas Kapanga, Dr King Nalubamba, Dr Martin Kebakile, Ms Pauline Kadhila, Ms Mwangala Nalisa, Dr Ereck Chakauya, Dr Jonathan Mufandaedza, Mr Lefa Thamae, Prof Emmanuel Kaunda, Mr Marcelino Xavier, Mr Patrick Mphadzula, Prof Yasmina Fakim, Ms Anneline Morgan and Prof Osmund Mwamdemele

The Southern Africa Development Community region is faced with multiple challenges related to health and nutrition that need collective wisdom to solve including drought, new pests, and animal diseases, among others. SANBio aims to use Science Technology and Innovation to improve the livelihoods of communities of Southern Africa

On 20 February 2017 SANBio Steering Committee met at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (SANBio Hub) to strategise on the priorities for the network in the next 3-5 years. The SANBio Steering Committee is made of NEPAD, SADC Secretariat and the 13 member countries.

The SC nominated Zimbabwe as the new chair represented by Dr Jonathan Mufandaeza, Chief Executive Officer of National Biotechnology Authority of Zimbabwe. “Together with my SC team, we are challenged to resource mobilize for projects showing potential to solve our regional challenges. We have a conviction that there is going to be more collaborative work among researchers towards a common goal, confronting hunger and diseases. This is in line with the African Union (AU) and Southern Africa Development Communities (SADC) spirit to move the region collectively as a group. The SC should endeavour to create a conducive environment for researchers, innovators, business people so that everyone has the potential to attain the best in life.” Said Dr Mufandaedza

The out-going chair, Prof Osmund Mwandemele, a professor at the University of Namibia wished the new chair all the best and hoped the new SC would work closely with the chair to build the network and achieve most of the network’s objectives.

In her remarks Anneline Morgan, Senior Technical Advisor for SADC Science, Technology and Innovation emphasised the need to align SANBio priorities with the Regional Sustainable Development Goals and Africa Union framework STISA 2024 when reviewing SANBio Business Plan 2013-2018.

Dr Tichaona Mangwende, Head of the NEPAD Research and Statistics Cluster recognised the importance to invest in the network and also encouraged the member states to champion the change they want to see in the network. He further emphasised that inclusivity, coordination, transparency, accountability and co-investment should be the mandate of the network.

The meeting was attended by NEPAD, SADC, Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe.

Know your SC Representative

Botswana; Dr Martin Kebakile (National Food Technology Research Centre)

Lesotho; Mr Lefa Thamae (Department of Science and Technology)

Malaw;i Mr Patrick Mphadzula (Ministry of Education)

Mozambique; Dr Alsacia Atanasio (Ministry of Science & Technology, High Education and Vocational Training)

Namibia; Mr Vincent Nowaseb (National Commission on Research Science and Technology)

Seychelles; Mr Xavier Estico (National Institute of Science Technology and Innovatio)

South Africa; Dr Maneshree Jugmohan-Naidu (Department of Science and Technology)

Swaziland; Mr Nqoba Msibi (Ministry of Information and Communication Technology)

Zimbabwe; Dr Jonathan Mufandaedza (Steering Committee Chairperson) (National Biotechnology Authority of Zimbabwe)

NEPAD Agency; Dr Tichaona Mangwende

Southern Africa Development Community; Ms Anneline Morgan