Président de la Commission de l’Union Africaine (depuis le 1er. février 2008)
A flagship research and development programme on securing and sustaining water has been identified in the African Science and Technology Action Plan.
This flagship programme focuses on water quality, sanitation and water resource management, with a strong emphasis on promoting increased use of scientific knowledge and technological innovations to solve Africa’s water challenges.
The plan of action and its programmes are being designed so that they can be implemented through the centres of excellence, which will be organised as consortiums of institutions bringing together their best intellectual, administrative, infrastructure and financial resources.
The NEPAD Office of Science and Technology (OST) has constituted an African task team on water science and technology development to assist in the implementation process. This team includes representatives from Burkina-Faso, Cameroon, Ethiopia, France, Malawi, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa, Sudan and Uganda.
Specific criteria and guidelines have been developed for establishing the network. These will be incorporated into a call for proposals from African institutes to indicate their intent to be considered as a centre of excellence in water science and technology development.
The governance and financing mechanism proposals to support the implementation of the water science initiative were submitted to an inter-ministerial dialogue in Cairo, Egypt on 22 November 2006.
The dialogue was attended by Ministers from Lesotho, Senegal, South Africa and Zimbabwe, senior representatives from Algeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, and South Africa, and representatives from the NEPAD Office of Science and Technology and the African Union Commission.
The delegates discussed issues related to criteria and guidelines, financial mechanisms and governance for the network of centres of excellence before agreeing to its establishment.
A call for institutional profiles will be launched in April 2007 and a committee will be established to evaluate these profiles. It is expected that the committee will include scientists, experts on capacity-building projects, experts on institutional management, experts on new technologies of communication and information.
The South African Water Research Commission (WRC) and the French Institute for Research and Development (IRD) are supporting the NEPAD office to implement the water initiative.
Dr Kevin Pietersen of the WRC who has been instrumental in launching this initiative, will be leaving the WRC at the end of March 2007 and this aspect of his portfolio will be taken over by Dr Stanley Liphadzi. Source : NEPAD News, march 30, 2007