AfricArxiv participated in the SRI 2023 satellite event and had a session titled; A digital approach to multi-stakeholder-led knowledge-exchange of Sustainability Research for societal benefits in Africa
The SRI 2023 Africa Satellite Event, held in Nelson Mandela University successfully convened a diverse audience, ranging from regional to global participants, for local-to-regional sessions focused on sustainability research and innovation. These sessions were complemented by a series of parallel discussions that delved into various topics crucial to the development of research in the global south. Topics such as sustainable research methodologies were explored, highlighting innovative approaches to conducting studies that minimise environmental impact and promote long-term viability.
Open science was another prominent theme discussed during the conference, with an emphasis on fostering collaboration, data sharing, and transparency within the scientific community. Participants engaged in thoughtful discussions on the potential of open science to enhance research outcomes and promote inclusivity, particularly in resource-constrained settings. AfricArxiv had a session titled; A digital approach to multistakeholder-led knowledge-exchange of Sustainability Research for societal benefits in Africa. During these session the facilitators engaged in discussions that aimed at giving the audience an overview of digital and technological requirements to ensure discoverability and reuse of African scholarly content, learning about research community standards and principles such as the FAIRE and CARE principles for data sharing and exchange of best practices and experiences in stakeholder engagement, and joint research projects involving indigenous and local communities. During this interactive session, the audience was allowed to discuss and share experiences on their diverse fields about open science and stakeholder engagement. For example the audience shared how they share their information and the stakeholders they engage with in their various fields. The slides for the presentation can be accessed below.
The conference also addressed the critical aspect of environmental sustainability, recognizing the urgency of mitigating climate change and preserving biodiversity. Discussions centred around innovative approaches to conservation, sustainable resource management, and climate resilience, with an emphasis on empowering researchers in the global south to contribute to global sustainability goals.
Water-energy-food discussions were held to address the interconnectedness of these essential elements and explore sustainable solutions for their effective management. The conference provided a platform for exploring strategies to balance water, energy, and food needs, taking into account local contexts and regional challenges in the global south.
E-research and the integration of emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) were explored to understand their potential in advancing research capabilities. Participants examined how AI can contribute to data analysis, modelling, and decision-making processes, ultimately enhancing research efficiency and accelerating progress in the global south.
Science policy and capacity building were significant topics, focusing on the development of effective policies, frameworks, and infrastructure to support research and innovation. The conference aimed to foster collaborations among policymakers, researchers, and institutions to create an enabling environment for scientific advancement in the global south.
Additionally, the event highlighted the importance of multi-sector collaboration in addressing sustainability challenges. It emphasized the need for partnerships among academia, industry, government, and civil society to harness collective expertise and resources in tackling complex issues and achieving meaningful impact in research. Moreover, the conference recognized the significance of nurturing the professional development of early career scientists in the global south. It offered workshops and networking opportunities to empower young researchers, enabling them to contribute to transformative research and innovation within their respective fields.
By exploring these topics and providing a platform for knowledge-sharing and collaboration, the conference aimed to strengthen research in the global south. It showcased practical examples, best practices, and success stories from the region, highlighting how these insights can benefit research endeavors and drive sustainable development worldwide.