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Figure 1: The Heads of Research Councils and Coordinators from Burkina Faso,  Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal,  Ghana,  and Sierra Leone plus the ATPS and AUST Partners in the SRIFA Project.

In a remarkable convergence of international and local partners, the ‘Science Granting Councils Initiative’ (SGCI) Annual Forum and the Global Research Council (GRC) Sub-Saharan Africa Regional Meeting unfolded in Mombasa from November 13th to 17th, 2023, hosted by the National Research Fund–Kenya (NRF-KE). The event brought together representatives from over thirty countries to engage in discussions surrounding Science, Technology, and Innovation (STI), climate change, and the pivotal role of funding agencies in post-PhD research assessment, funding, and support.

At the heart of the 2023 Annual Forum was a Masterclass on research funding flows, offering insights into the complex landscape of funding from various sources. The session aimed to provide concrete recommendations for SGCs to manage research agendas effectively and cultivate partnerships.

Integral to the event were the Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning (MEL) sessions, fostering continuous learning and knowledge sharing among stakeholders, and ensuring evidence-based decision-making. The Academic Symposium, co-hosted with the Africa Open Science Platform (AOSP), showcased projects funded by NRF Kenya and SGCI, focusing on open science and science communication, thereby promoting networks among SGCI partners and beyond.

The GRC Sub-Saharan Africa Regional Meeting, an essential part of the event, facilitated collaboration among global funding agencies. Complementing SGCI’s focus on strategic communication, knowledge uptake, and networking, the GRC contributed by sharing experiences within the global network of science funders, thereby raising the profile and visibility of science funders in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Among the distinguished participants were ATPS Executive Director Prof. Nicholas Ozor and ATPS Post Doctoral Research Officer Dr. Cynthia Ebere. Their presence underscored the commitment of ATPS to the strengthening of the STI landscape in sub-Saharan Africa and fostering international cooperation. The forum provided a platform for engaging discussions, knowledge sharing, and the shaping of the future of research and innovation in the region.

The SGCI 2023 Annual Forum and GRC Sub-Saharan Africa Regional Meeting marked a significant stride toward fortifying the STI landscape in sub-Saharan Africa, promising a legacy of collaboration, innovation, and informed policy discussions.

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