ASSAf Programmes

The International Liaison Programme is divided into five sub programs as follows: Strategic Partnerships, Overseas Collaborations, and African Collaborations, Gender in Science and Technology, and Young Scientist Liaison.

Programme Strategic Objectives

  • To establish, strengthen andsustain strategic national, regional and well as global engagements for the benefit of  ASSAf and the South African science system
  • To initiate, strengthen and sustain mutually beneficial partnerships and activities with national academies of science, their networks, and multilateral organisations in the African continent and overseas
  • To promote and enhance the participation of young scientists in global and national Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) activities
  • To promote the participation of girls and women in STI and to raise awareness of the gender dimensions of STI

Strategic Partnerships

This portfolio seeks to develop and maintain productive partnerships with international partners that include networks of academies and other international science organisations.  ASSAf serves and contributes to the InterAcademy Partnership (IAP) as an Executive Committee Member representing the Developing Countries.

The InterAcademy Panel is an umbrella body of three organisations namely, IAP - the global network of science academies, the InterAcademy Medical Panel (IAMP), and the InterAcademy Council (IAC) that was officially launched in March 2016 to permit the three inter-academy networks to speak with one voice and thus have a greater impact on global issues of common interest.



Other strategic partners to ASSAf include:


Overseas Collaboration

ASSAf has signed memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with the following national science academies:

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Austrian Academy of Science

Russian Academy of Sciences

Indian National Science Academy



Chinese Academy of Sciences

German National Academy of Sciences (Leopoldina)

ASSAf has hosted joint conferences and workshops with overseas academies in the following fields:

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Socialist Republic of Viet Nam
Minutes of the 4th Meeting of the South Africa-Vietnam Partnership Forum, 14 and 15 March 2019

African Collaboration


Since 2008, ASSAf has engaged in collaborative and academy development work with various national science academies on the continent.


Bilateral Collaborations in Africa

ASSAf has signed bilateral agreements with the following academies:



Uganda National Academy of Sciences



Nigerian Academy of Science



Mauritius Academy of Science and Technology

Multilateral Collaborations in Africa



There are 22 academies of science on the African continent. 21 are members of the Network of African Science Academies (NASAC) headquartered in Nairobi, Kenya. ASSAf serves as in the Executive of NASAC through Professor Nyameko Barney Pityana who is the General Secretary and Professor Robin Crewe as the Committee Member 

ASSAF African Science CVR

Academies of science on continent have conceptualised Africa’s Science Academy Development Agenda (ASADA), an initiative on academy development in Africa, the vision of which is to have strong national science academies in Africa supported by their governments and playing an important role in their national science systems, together with a strong and financially sustainable network of  academies (NASAC) able to fulfil its role as advisor to the African Union and facilitate co-operative activities among academies. ASADA succeeds the major 11-year African Science Academy Development Initiative (ASADI) led by the US National Academies and funded by the Gates Foundation that formally ends in 2015. It is named Africa’s Science Academy Development Agenda (ASADA) in recognition of this second phase of academy development on the continent, which is distinguished from its predecessor in that it is conceptualised by the African academies of science. 

ASADA’s strategic goals are:

  • To position NASAC as the coordinator of ASADA and strengthen its role as the coordinator and premier voice of African science academies at a pan-African level after a transition period of three years.

  • To initiate and strengthen science academies on the African continent in order that they may promote scholarly activity, honour distinguished scientists and fulfil their science advisory role to governments and their nations.

  • To foster scientific collaborations among science academies for the advancement of capacity development and science in Africa.

  • To focus on the development goals of Africa and the implementation thereof by promoting scientific activities that align with

  • To focus on the development goals of Africa and the implementation thereof by promoting scientific activities that align with Agenda 2063 and the Science, Technology and Innovation Strategy for Africa (STISA 2024) of the African Union. ASSAf supports the implementation of this programme and is the lead implementing academy for southern Africa.

Gender in Science, Technology and Innovation

Organisation of Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD) South Africa
ASSAf has hosted the Organisation of Women in Science for the Developing World (OWSD) since 2009.

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In 2014, ASSAf was awarded the bid as a focal point of GenderInSITE Southern Africa. GenderInSITE is an international initiative to raise awareness among decision-makers on the gender and SITE (Science, Innovation, Technology and Engineering) dimensions of development.

Young Scientist Activities

ASSAf creates opportunities for young scientists in South Africa to link with their counterparts in Southern Africa, Africa and globally. ASSAf hosts the South African Young Academy of Science (SAYAS) and links SAYAS with other young academies in Africa and overseas as well as the Global Young Academy (GYA). ASSAf creates opportunities for young scientists to come to South Africa for research, conferences, symposia and workshops and provides similar opportunities for South African young scientists by responding to various international calls.