Cooperation: 14 years later, Felix Tshisekedi authorizes the ratification of the SADC protocol on science, technology and innovation

Through an ordinance read on the antennas of the RTNC, the President of the Republic, Félix Tshisekedi signed an ordinance authorizing the ratification of the protocol of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) on science, technology and l ‘innovation.

The SADC Protocol on Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) was signed in Johannesburg by 14 African countries including the Democratic Republic of Congo on August 17, 2008.

Science and technology are cross-cutting issues for the SADC region, affecting all aspects of socio-economic development in the region. Recognizing that these factors play an important role in the future of Southern Africa, SADC adopted its Protocol on Science, Technology and Innovation on August 17, 2008 to foster cooperation and promote the development of science and technology in the region.

By signing the protocol, member states agreed to cooperate on institutional mechanisms for science, technology and innovation. The protocol defines these institutions, as well as their committees and sub-committees, their composition, their functions, their systems for financing their initiatives and their methods of monitoring progress. The objective is to promote the development and harmonization of science, technology and innovation policies, advocating investment in research and development and promoting public awareness of science and technology.

The aims and objectives of the said Protocol in the region include:

• Strengthen regional cooperation and coordination;

• Promote policy development and harmonization;

• Share experiences and pool resources;

• Promote public understanding, awareness and participation;

• Promote the value of indigenous knowledge systems and technologies;

• Attract, motivate and retain scientists;

• Strengthen institutional capacities and facilitate cooperation and institutional networks;

• Improve and strengthen the protection of intellectual property rights;

• Increase access to teaching and learning basic sciences and mathematics; and promote gender equity and equality in teaching and learning at all levels of education.

This is the first decision of the Congolese president as current president of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Carmel NDEO

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