SADC Young Scientists Consider Food Security

Young scientists from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) deliberated on the eradication of hunger and food security at a workshop hosted by the South African Young Academy of Science (SAYAS) from 11 to 13 April 2018.

Entitled, Policy Direction – Eradication of Hunger and Achievement of Food Security, the workshop seeked to link young scientists and early career researchers to policymakers to strengthen the science-policy interface. 

Food security is an integral part of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that deal with poverty, zero hunger, good health and well-being, quality education and responsible consumption and production.  

The Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA2024) notes that most entities responsible for STI policymaking operate in isolation from other policy agencies, with weak links to the private and education and research sectors, and to African and international policy research think tanks.  

Young scientists and early career researchers equally work in isolation with very limited linkages to policymakers for whom evidence-based research should be key. 

The workshop aimed to establish a relationship between young scientists to better inform policies and assessments; identify gaps and shortfalls in the achievement of goals and to utilise science to find solutions. Young scientists were also challenged to gear their research to be more responsive to the SDGs. 

Some 70 delegates from nine countries attended the workshop which was co-hosted by the Tanzania Young Academy of Science, Mauritius Young Academy of Science and the World Academy of Sciences Regional Office for Sub-Saharan Africa (TWAS ROSSA).  

Funding for the workshop was provided by the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP), the Oppenheimer Memorial Trust, TWAS ROSSA and the Organisation for Women in Science for the Developing World South Africa National Chapter (OWSD-SANC). 

The workshop took place at the Birchwood Hotel & OR Tambo Conference Centre in Boksburg.