African Research and Technology Organisations Working Towards STISA2024

Moderator: Dr Ndumiso Cingo, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research

Panelist: Mrs Hajara Tanko, Raw Materials Research and Development Council

Panelist: Prof James Kimotho, Kenya Medical Research Institute

Panelist: Prof Kenneth Danso, CSIR – Biotechnology and Nuclear Agricultural Research

Panelist: Prof Charles Kwesiga, Uganda Industrial Research Institute

Africa has shown signs of an economic turnaround in recent the years. The GDP of a number of countries has increased since the Millennium, and seven of the world’s ten fastest growing economies are in Africa. Although richly endowed with abundant natural resources, the continent is however doing quite poorly on virtually all the development indexes.

Science, technology and innovation (STI) can play a critical role as an enabler for improved quality of life in Africa and her people. STI is seen as a lever for change, through research and knowledge generation for policy guidance, and for development of innovative and appropriate technologies for human and economic development. It is also a foundation upon which industrial development is rooted. African RTOs can play a role in catalyzing the process of industrial development through enhanced technology use and deployment of highly skilled manpower and thus contribute to Africa’s diverse developmental strategies.

The session seeks to engage in a dialogue on the African RTOs role in achieving the objectives of STISA 2024, and to galvanize a network of African RTOs in order to provide a platform for cooperation across the continent, encourage and facilitate the transfer of research results and technical know-how; secure funding for projects and enhance institutional capacity development.

Dr Ndumiso Cingo, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research

Dr Cingo is Innovation Manager CSIR. He is formerly the Centre Manager of the CSIR National Laser Centre. Prior to joining the CSIR, he was Associate Professor of Chemistry at the Tshwane University of Technology, and Senior Lecturer in the Chemistry Department at the University of South Africa. He currently serves on the board of the World Association of Industrial and Technological Research Organizations. He also serves on the Board of Ukuqonda Institute (Chair), Nka’Thuto Edupropeller (Chair) and BSTEP. He has previously served as Chairperson of the Board of the African Laser Centre, and is the former Chairperson of the Photonics Initiative of South Africa. He is also the former Chairperson of the South African Nanotechnology Initiative, and a co-founder of BSTEP. Dr Cingo was also previously a member of the International Steering Committee of the 2015 International Year of Light Initiative.

Dr Cingo obtained his PhD in chemistry in 1998 from Ohio University. He later took up a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He obtained his BSc ED (1992) and BSc Hons (1993) from North West University, Mafikeng.


Mrs Hajara Tanko, Raw Materials Research and Development Council

Born 24th October, 1964, Mrs. Hajara Yahaya Tanko holds a B.Sc. Degree in Chemistry (1986) and MSc. in Pharmacognosy (2011) from Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Nigeria. She is currently pursuing a PhD with interest in Bio-pigments of Pharmaceutical Applications from Nigerian Plants in the same university.

Mrs. Tanko joined the Raw Materials Research and Development Council (RMRDC), Abuja, Nigeria in 1991 after a rewarding career at Kaduna State Water Board.She was the Project Manager of a World Bank project on Sustainable Production of Tropical Fruits for Fruit Juice Concentrate and Allied Products in Nigeria from 2010-2013.She is the Director (Planning) in RMRDC and the current Regional Focal Point for WAITRO in Africa. She was part of the team that visited South Africa, Tanzania and Kenya for networking purposes with RTOs in March 2017 while she organized on behalf of WAITRO the Networking Session in Ghana. She has attended science and technology related workshops in Nigeria and overseas.

Mrs. Tanko is a fast learner, bridge builder, strategic thinker and team player with special ability to pioneer programmes and projects. She is an expert in project management with strong competencies in advocacy and team work.


Prof James Kimotho, Kenya Medical Research Institute

Dr. James H. Kimotho is a molecular biologist (PhD), industrial pharmacist and a scholar. He works at the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) as the head of Production Unit that is responsible for translation of medical-related technologies into commercial products and services. He is also an Honorary Lecture of Molecular Pharmacology at the University of Nairobi. James is renowned author of medical literature in East Africa with his publication DrugIndex.It™being used in most of the health facilities in the region. He is also a key partner in Africa Network of Drug and Diagnostic Innovation (ANDI) where he works in development and enabling access of appropriate diagnostic technologies in Africa. He represents KEMRI in the World Association of Industrial and Technological Research Organizations (WAITRO).He is also a key member of the Scientific Steering Committee at KEMRI. He has also published more than fourteen (14) papers in peer review Journals where he is the first author in 5 of them. He has also presented his work in various National and International conferences. James is a firm believer in development of appropriate technologies in health to alleviate immense disease burden in Africa.


Prof Charles Kwesiga, Executive Director, UIRI

Prof Charles Kwesiga is the Executive Director of Uganda Industrial Research Institute (UIRI). An Industrial Engineer by profession, Charles Kwesiga has significant experience as a corporate manager, management consultant, educator, and entrepreneur.

As Executive Director he oversees the Institute’s activities that include: technology transfer; technology diffusion; process and product development; business incubation; contract engineering services and applied R&D.

Highly regarded by his peers and other professionals, Professor Kwesiga’s other extra-curricular activities include the following:

  • President of WAITRO (World Association of Industrial and Technological Research Organisations), an association of 160 member institutions from 70 countries.  Focus of the association is to create synergies between its members in the work as RTOs (Research and Technological Organisations), Jan 2015 – Dec 2016
  • Pioneered the building of Uganda Petroleum Institute, Kigumba (UPIK), and subsequently became its Chairman of Planning and Development sub-committee of the Governing Council.
  • Senior Presidential Advisor (on retainer) for Scientific Innovations, Uganda Government.
  • Member of Board of Control of the Senior Command and Staff College Kimaka of Uganda Peoples Defence Forces.Prof Kwesiga is also a member of teaching staff.
  • Member of Board for National Enterprises Corporation (NEC) (nominee)

Under Prof Kwesiga’s leadership UIRI was voted a Centre of Excellence in R&D for East African Community (EAC).

By | 2017-11-30T13:20:24+00:00 October 9th, 2017|