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Coordination and Advancement of sub-Saharan Africa-EU Science & Technology Cooperation Network

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Casting a net over development in Africa

To bring economic advancement and sustainable development to a region requires much more than just scientific research. Caast-net envelops this principle by creating a co-operative platform of mutual inclusion for mutual benefit.

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For many, the prospect of science and technology investment may be the holy grail to reducing poverty, bringing investment and stability. Yet, for investment in science and technology to work, it requires intelligence in the forethought, planning and execution. The 'Coordination and advancement of sub-Saharan Africa-EU science and technology cooperation network' (Caast-net) took a step-by-step approach to determine the best way forward for all parties. By developing a co-operative platform, the project identified research activities of mutual benefit that were both ongoing and far-reaching. It recognised the fact that if the project is to succeed it must attain a total synergy of regional development activities that assist in the continual evolution of EU-African science and technology collaboration. The above is only possible if policy dialogue remains in line with continual research activities, are of mutual benefit to all and promote the ongoing development of regions on a socio-economic basis. Similarly, information and training also need to be equally available for all parties. Caast-net identified these two major challenges, and made significant efforts through thematic research activities which developed research and development topics of mutual interest. Two examples of such were an event on biofuels and renewable energies held in Senegal, and the event on non-communicable diseases which took place in Cameroon. The project continues to generate success through information portals, web-based knowledge management platforms and a host of e-based activities such as e-bulletins, e-alerts and e-updates. Caast-net is not simply coordinating a network over EU-African's research activities – it is ensuring future benefits for these nations, too.

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