The South African Department of Science and Technology (DST) in partnership with the European Commission is organising a special conference on “Innovation for Poverty Alleviation” organised as side event to the fifth South Africa – European Union Summit. The conference will present and celebrate the EU’s Sector Budget Support (SBS) Programme on Innovation for Poverty Alleviation to the DST. The event will take place in Brussels on Wednesday 19 September 2012 and will include as keynote speaker His Excellency, President Jacob Zuma, President of the Republic of South Africa. The President will be introduced by South Africa’s Minister of Science and Technology, Her Excellency, Minister Naledi Pandor.
South Africa and the European Union share the policy conviction that science and technology are critical instruments for sustainable growth and development and can play an essential role in poverty alleviation efforts. One of the flagship programmes of the South Africa – EU Strategic Partnership’s development cooperation instrument is therefore the SBS programme, funded for an amount of €30 million by the EU and implemented by the DST, to complement and enhance the Department’s programmes to deploy science and technology and harness innovation to fight poverty in South Africa.
The conference will include presentations of success stories implemented under the SBS programme, for example related to support for innovative ICT platforms to bring connectivity to remote rural areas, and technology transfer partnerships, including with industry, to foster the creation of sustainable community owned enterprises in poverty-stricken areas. Proceedings will conclude with a panel discussion on how science and technology’s potential to contribute to poverty alleviation could best be leveraged under the South Africa – EU Strategic Partnership, as well as under the broader Joint Africa-EU Strategy. This discussion should be especially relevant for the current consideration of the development of new cooperation instruments.