Cape Town hosted the WAITRO Summit 2022
The capital of South Africa was the stage of WAITRO’s flagship event
On the 14th and 15th of November 2022, research and innovation stakeholders from over 35 countries gathered in Cape Town, South Africa for the WAITRO Summit 2022. With the aim of building new partnerships and initiating working groups to face global challenges and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), more than 140 delegates had the opportunity to learn and hear from renowned speakers, exchange experiences, network and collaborate during the two days of face-to-face event.
Day 1 – Keynotes, Roundtable and Capacity Development Workshops
The first day of the WAITRO Summit 2022 started with an opening ceremony, which featured a speech by the President of WAITRO HRH Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan. She highlighted how the urgency and utility of partnerships has become increasingly vital as challenges converge and correlates.
“We must remember that the core part of our mission is to ensure that no potential partner is left behind. We each have something to contribute.”
(HRH Princess Sumaya bint El Hassan, President of WAITRO)
Next, we had welcome speeches by Prof. Eugene Cloete, Dep. VC Research, Innovation and Postgraduate Studies at Stellenbosch University; and Prof. Nnenesi Kgabi, Director Research Support at North-West University. The opening ceremony also featured addresses from the Chief Director for University Planning & Institutional Planning, Feizal Toefy; and the Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development, Blue Economy, and Sustainable Environment (ARBE) of the African Union, H.E. Josefa Sacko. Sacko addressed the theme of the Contribution of Youths in Accelerating the Transformation Process of African Agriculture.
Dr. Raghunath Mashelkar, Former President of the Global Research Alliance and Former Director General of Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, closed the opening ceremony with a keynote on Innovation, Inclusion & Resilience – Cornerstones of Post-pandemic SDG 17. Among other valuable insights, Dr. Mashelkar shared key lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, and how to find opportunity in adversity.
“Building resilient global partnerships is the need of the hour to solve global challenges.”
(Dr. Raghunath Mashelkar, Former President of the Global Research Alliance)
The highlight of the morning of the first day of the event was the Roundtable on SDG 17. Mamati Tembe, Head of Public Affairs Science and Sustainability at Bayer AG and Dr. Victor Konde, Scientific Affairs Officer at United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, opened the discussion with keynotes on Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership. For Dr. Konde, WAITRO can identify key issues that attract the interest of partners and member states and encourage its members to activate formal and informal partnerships along the innovation chain.
“Scientific partnerships are growing but innovation and entrepreneurial partnerships remain weak.”
(Dr. Victor Konde, Scientific Affairs Officer, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa)