Africa cannot evolve without research.” Charles Wangadya, Policy Officer of the Strategic Planning, Policy, Monitoring, Evaluation, and Resource Mobilisation Directorate of the African Union Commission (AUC), was speaking at a high-level meeting between Unisa and the AUC on 18 July 2017.
Front, Charles Wangadya (Policy Officer: Strategic Planning, Policy, Monitoring, Evaluation, and Resource Mobilisation Directorate, AUC), Mesfin Tessema (Director: Strategic Planning, Policy, Monitoring, Evaluation, and Resource Mobilisation Directorate, AUC), Prof Thomas Mogale (ED: CEMS), Prof Maggi Linington (ED: CAES), and Prof Joseph Chisasa (Department of Finance, Risk Management and Banking, CEMS), with other Unisa and AUC representatives
The African Union (AU) Agenda 2063 Research Project is coordinated by Unisa’s College of Economic and Management Sciences (CEMS) in conjunction with the AUC, and is dedicated towards specialised research and capacity development in the field of economic development, specifically youth business development, women entrepreneurship and sustainable business enterprises.
Wangadya highlighted the necessity of concentrating on projects that would fit into the time frame of the memorandum of understanding (MoU) between Unisa and the AU, which ends in October 2019. Although the MoU would almost certainly be extended, the current reform proposals for the AU, as part of transforming it into a self-reliant continental body by 2018, would necessitate a revision of the terms of reference in line with new priorities. He emphasised that projects should be continental in scope, rather than project specific.
The meeting reviewed the 2016 research projects and workshops conducted by Unisa, and deliberated on which of the key research and capacity building projects under consideration would best fit into the two-year time frame and the state of flux occasioned by the AU reforms. The other Unisa colleges were also coming on board to cross-pollinate and expand the range of research.
|Agenda 2063 Aspirations for the “Africa We Want”|
|1. A prosperous Africa based on inclusive growth and sustainable development
2. An integrated continent, politically united and based on the ideals of Pan-Africanism and the vision of Africa’s Renaissance
3. An Africa of good governance, democracy, respect for human rights, justice and the rule of law
4. A peaceful and secure Africa
5. An Africa with a strong cultural identity, common heritage, shared values and ethics
6. An Africa whose development is people-driven, relying on the potential of African people, especially its women and youth, and caring for children
7. Africa as a strong, united and influential global player and partner