Moderator: Ms Mmampei Chaba Biography, Department of science and technology
Panelist: Mr Seth Tetteh Akweshie
Panelist: Ms Lynette Chen, NEPAD Business Foundation
Panelist: Dr Rachel Chikwamba, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research
Panelist: Prof. Romain Murenzi, The World Academy of Sciences
Panelist: Mario Sceri, Tshwane University of Technology
In April 2015, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Heads of States approved the SADC Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap (2015-2063). The strategy is driven by the necessity for the structural transformation of the SADC region through industrialization, modernization, upgrading and greater regional integration, and shifting from a reliance on natural resources and low cost labour, to increased investment and enhanced productivity of both labour and capital. While the SADC region is endowed with abundant and diverse natural resources, the region’s productive sectors do not practice value addition. The SADC Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap strives to reverse this trend in order to achieve self-sustaining development for the SADC region. The Strategy envisions that this could be achieved through value addition to the region’s resources, which in return would increase returns from the export of the region’s natural resources.
South Africa has assumed its role as chair of SADC from August 2017 to August 2018. The theme for South Africa’s Chairship is “Partnering with the Private Sector in Developing Industry and Regional Value-Chains”. The SADC Industrialisation Strategy and Roadmap encourages collaboration between Governments and the private sector to industrialise the region’s natural resources. The Strategy calls for the region to accelerate the implementation of industrialisation programmes and consider innovative ways to finance industrialisation.
Mr Seth Tetteh Akweshie
Mr. Akweshie obtained a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in Economics with Statistics from the University of Ghana in 1979. As a Fullbright Scholar, he got his Master of International Business Management (MIM) degree, specializing in financial management and investments, from Baylor University, Texas, U.S.A. in 1985. He is also a Passed Finalist of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (U.K.). He also completed a course in Export Consortia Development and Management run by UNIDO and ILO at the ILO’s International Training Centre, in Turin, Italy in July 2008.
Mr. Akweshie started working in his family’s business in Ghana, but went into education upon graduating from university. He taught mathematics and economics in Ghana and Nigeria and later lectured in Business Finance in the USA.
From 1990 to 1993, he worked for the Botswana Government as Principal Industrial Officer and Head of Business Management Section in the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (now Ministry of Investment, Trade and Industry).
Since 1993, has been the Managing Director of FINACCO Group, a management consultancy and accounting company based in Botswana with branches in South Africa, Namibia and Ghana. FINACCO provides services in accounting, management, marketing research, industrial development, project finance, and education and training. Some of FINACCO’s clients started as Small and Medium Enterprises and grew to become market leaders; one is currently listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange.
As an international expert on industrialization, Mr. Akweshie undertook several assignments for UNIDO, FAO, ILO, Centre for the Development of Enterprise (CDE), African Development Bank, Botswana Development Corporation, the governments of Mauritius, Madagascar, South Africa, Namibia, Botswana and the SADC Secretariat.
Mr. Akweshie was the Chief Architect of the SADC Regional Industrial Upgrading and Modernization Programme (IUMP). Later as Technical Advisor to the SADC Secretariat, he oversaw the Feasibility Study and Strategy for Regional Manufacturing of Essential Medicines and related health commodities for Communicable Diseases, with a focus on HIV and AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in the SADC region.
He was a member of the team of Regional Experts who assisted the SADC Region to develop the SADC Industrialization Strategy and Roadmap 2015-2063, and later a key member of the team that assisted the SADC Region to develop the Action Plan for implementing the Strategy. Mr. Akweshie is currently the Industrialization Advisor to the SADC Secretariat.
Ms Lynette Chen, NEPAD Business Foundation,South Africa
Lynette is an African development expert, having actively contributed to initiatives such as the BEE Charter and the Presidential International Advisory Council on ICT in South Africa.As CEO of NEPAD Business Foundation, she leads a unique organization that focuses on representing and mobilizing businesses to become involved in and support African development goals.She is deeply passionate about the continent and believes that in order for social and economic transformation to take place, we need to advocate for private sector-led initiatives aligned to the African Union’s NEPAD programmes.Lynette also serves on the Board of Directors of FANRPAN, a continental organization focusing on impacting policies in the agriculture sector.She is currently a Fellow of the African Leadership Initiative which is run by the Aspen Institute.
MsMmampeiChaba, is currently Chief Director responsible for Multilateral and Africa engagements within DST and has been in this position for the last 7 years. Her responsibilities include managing South Africa’s global and African multilateral Science, Technology and Innovation relations with organisations such as the UN, SADC and the African Union. Her She is also responsible for managing the 26 Science, Technology and Innovation bilateral agreements that South Africa has entered into with strategic countries in the continent.Before occupying this post, she served as a Director: Multilateral Cooperation from 2006 – 2010 within the DST and as a Deputy Director in Multilateral Cooperation from 2004 – 2006. She was also seconded to the UK in 2008 on DST’s behalf. Before joining the DST she worked in the Department of Health for 5 years as a Medical Scientist. MsChaba obtained her BSc degree in Chemistry and Biochemistry from the University of Cape Town and her Honour degree from University of Pretoria, in Human Genetics
Mario Scerri is a Senior Research Fellow at IERI and a Professor of Economics in the Faculty of Economics and Finance at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) and the Centre of Excellence in Scientometrics and STI Policy in the Faculty of Economics at the Tshwane University of Technology. He is also a Professor Extraordinary in the Centre for Research on Evaluation, Science and Technology (CREST), Stellenbosch University, South Africa and a Visiting Senior Researcher at the School of Economics and Business Studies, University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa.
His research focus is on the evolution of innovation systems, specifically within sub-Saharan Africa, primarily from a political economy perspective. He has written extensively on the evolution of the South African national system of innovation. He has also worked on various aspects of the national systems of innovation of the BRICS economies and on the integration of systems of innovation in sub-Saharan Africa. He is the author of The Evolution of the South African System of Innovation since 1916 (Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2009). He is the editor of The Emergence of Systems of Innovation in South(ern) Africa: Long Histories and Contemporary Debates (Johannesburg: MISTRA and Real African Publishers, 2016). He is also the co-editor of three books on the national systems of innovation in the BRICS (New Delhi: Routledge, 2013) and was the co-editor of the book Measuring Innovation in OECD and non-OECD Countries (Cape Town: HSRC Press, 2006). He has also published several papers in scientific journals and chapters in various books in the area of innovation.
for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in South Africa, where she is leading the organisation’s industrial development initiative. The initiative seeks to amplify the role of innovation in improving the performance of industries, ultimately accelerating inclusive, sustainable economic growth and development. Prior to that, she was responsible for Strategic Alliances and Communication, where she championed organisational alliances with local and global partners in the public and private sectors in order to advance knowledge and to address challenges of socioeconomic and industrial development through science, technology and innovation.
Beginning as a researcher, her technical experience spans the life sciences across many disciplines, notably agriculture, health and nutrition and biomedical sectors. In her organisational roles and assignments, she has gained sound understanding of science and technology application in a variety of other sectors aligned with the CSIR business. These sectors include infrastructure, logistics, aerospace and defence, manufacturing and ICT.
Prior to her current appointment, Rachel was a previously a chief scientist with particular interest in improving access to affordable therapeutics. She has led and participated in several global research consortia, and has been principal investigator in many locally and internationally funded research initiatives.
Rachel sits on boards of various organisations focusing on agriculture, conservation and health, notably the Global Governing Board of ICRISAT, the Board of Directors of the Wits Health Consortium (Pty) Ltd, and the South African Medical Research Council. She was recently appointed the African Union Panel on Emerging Technologies. The panel advises the AU and its Member States on harnessing emerging technologies for economic development. She has served as an editorial board member for several international journals and a reviewer for local and international funding organisations. She has published book chapters and peer reviewed scientific publications.
Rachel holds a PhD in Genetics from Iowa State University in the USA and a Master of Business Administration at the Gordon Institute of Business Science at the University of Pretoria in South Africa. She is a member of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAF) and has held an Honorary Research Fellowship at St Georges Hospital Medical School, University of London.
Romain Murenzi serves as the executive director of TWAS, The World Academy of Sciences for the advancement of science in developing countries, based in Trieste, Italy.
He also oversees the administration of OWSD, the Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World with over 6,000 members; of IAP, the InterAcademy Partnership, a global network of some 130 academies of science and medicine; and of GenderInSITE (GIS), international initiative to promote the role of women in science, innovation, technology and engineering
The secretariat administers 440 doctoral/postdoctoral fellowships per year, with applicants from over 90 developing countries, with currently 1,100 students on site. Research grants and other programmes are also offered. Murenzi also plays a key role in global science diplomacy and policy.
Murenzi initially joined TWAS in April 2011 for five years. He then spent 14 months at UNESCO, Paris, directing the Division of Science Policy and Capacity Building in the Natural Sciences sector. On 1 September 2017 he was transferred back to TWAS.
Before that he served as Rwanda’s Minister of Education, S&T and Scientific Research (2001-2006), and as Minister in the President’s Office in Charge of S&T, and Scientific Research, with responsibilities including ICT (March 2006 – July 2009). In 2009 he was a senior scholar at AAAS Center for Science, Technology and Sustainable Development; he served as director from 2010-2011.
Murenzi was born in Rwanda in 1959 and raised in Burundi: BSc from National University of Burundi in 1982, MSc (1986) and PhD from Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium (1990).