Science, Technology and Innovation Cooperation
Between Sub-Saharan Africa and Europe

CAAST-Net Plus Engagement with RECs, Science Academies and ERAfrica

CAAST-Net Plus Engagement with RECs, Science Academies and ERAfrica

CAAST-Net Plus Engagement with RECs, Science Academies and ERAfrica

European and African science academy representatives, several officials from African regional economic communities and representatives of the ERAfrica Initiative met with CAAST-Net Plus partners in Ethiopia last week to discuss their involvement in Africa-EU research and innovation partnerships. [Image credit: CAAST-Net Plus]

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The second CAAST-Net Plus workshop with Africa’s Regional Economic Communities, science academies and the ERAfrica Initative took place at the Hilton Hotel in Addis Ababa on 3 April 2016.

Read our live Tweets from this event

Go to workshop report


RECs represented included:

  • SADC: Southern African Development Community
  • IGAD: Intergovernmental Authority on Development
  • COMESA: Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa
  • EAC: East Africa Community
  • ECCAS: Economic Community of Central African States
  • ECOWAS: Economic Community of West African States

Science academies represented at the workshop included:

  • NASAC: Network of African Science Academies
  • AAS: African Academy of Science
  • EASAC: European Academies Science Advisory Council

Participants heard specifically about the current programmes of the science academies as well as the ongoing efforts of the RECs to promote regional science agendas.

“All the RECs realise the importance of science but not all of them are sure about how to engage with science issues,” said Anneline Morgan, who is the SADC Secretariat’s science representative.

“Partnerships serve as a platform for our institutions to gain an entry point into cooperation processes,” she said. 


More Seats at ERAfrica Initiative Table

[Image credit: CAAST-Net Plus] View more event photographs

The workshop followed a first meeting held in Pretoria in February at which it was agreed to involve the ERAfrica Initiative in the CAAST-Net Plus discussion with the RECs and science academies.

 “The ERAfrica Initiative was identified during the workshop as an emerging platform for hosting several initiatives, policy dialogues and for the development of tailored instruments for advancing Africa-EU collaboration in STI,” said the German Aerospace Center's Stefan A. Haffner speaking after the workshop.

“Common funding responsibility, common identification of research topics, common ownership makes the ERAfrica Initiative unique, flexible and cost efficient. Its strength is its independence and that it is a thematically open platform of actors for identifying relevant fields of research and innovation and for initiating and managing the support of bi-regional projects.”

Championed by South Africa’s National Research Foundation (NRF) and the Project Management Agency of the German Aerospace Center (DLR-PT), and building on the results and experiences of the IRD-coordinated ERAfrica project, the new ERAfrica Initiative is an informal network of collaborators from Africa and the EU exploring the creation of a new portal for supporting bi-regional research and innovation. 

The next meeting of interested parties will take place at the end of June 2016 (for the official dates, watch the CAAST-Net Plus calendar).

This content was produced by *Research Africa for CAAST-Net Plus. To report an error, write to To learn more about us, go to ​

Disclaimer: CAAST-Net Plus is funded by the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7/2007-2013) under grant agreement n0 311806. This document reflects only the authors’ views and the European Union cannot be held liable for any use that may be made of the information contained herein.

CAAST-Net Plus is funded by the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme under grant agreement 311806
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