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Networking Africa’s science granting councils

Science granting councils are central to funding and catalyzing research and innovation. A recent scoping study supported by IDRC underscored the important role of these councils in national science systems in sub-Saharan Africa. However, that study also noted that most councils are pursuing their efforts in isolation, with very few mechanisms for sharing knowledge and learning with other councils or other important science system actors, such as universities and the private sector. By providing a platform and space for sharing of evidence, lessons learned, and best practices, it is expected that councils and other science, technology, and innovation (STI) system actors will become increasingly coordinated and networked and that this will result in national science systems that contribute to development outcomes in sub-Saharan Africa.

Jointly funded by the United Kingdom's Department for International Development, IDRC, and South Africa's National Research Foundation, the goal of the Science Granting Councils Initiative (SGCI) is to strengthen the capacities of science granting councils to support research and evidence-based policies that contribute to social and economic development. The initiative’s activities include training, regional exchanges and forums, online training, on-site coaching, and collaborative research. Its ultimate goal is nationally-led research that contributes to development.

This project will contribute to key science policy debates regionally and continentally by supporting a number of high-level annual forums and other regional meetings during the course of the initiative. Besides providing a platform for sharing of evidence, lessons learned, and best practices among participating councils, regional economic communities, and other science system actors, the project will contribute to new knowledge through commissioned state-of-the art papers or reviews on selected themes that can be shared with the councils and other meeting participants or through the SGCI Virtual Hub. By strengthening the ability of councils to effectively contribute to key STI policy debates, this project is expected to support the goals of the African Union’s Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa.

This project will be implemented over 36 months by the African Technology Policy Studies Network and the Scinnovent Centre, both based in Nairobi, Kenya.

Project ID
Project Status
End Date
36 months
IDRC Officer
Ellie Osir
Total Funding
CA$ 983,574.00
South of Sahara
Foundations for Innovation
Science Granting Councils Initiative in Sub-Saharan Africa
Institution Country
Project Leader
Nicholas Ozor
African Technology Policy Studies Network