Venue: Sida, Valhallavägen 199, Djenné, nr 18, Date: 4 May, Time: 9:00-11:00
CODESRIA, the Nordic Africa Institute and Sida, the Swedish International Development Agency organized a two-hour seminar, which examined the contributions of basic research in the social sciences and humanities to African development and the future of research cooperation as development support. Presentations of three development-relevant research projects focusing on natural resource management, gender, governance and human rights, and Ebola Virus Disease and intercommunal relations provided a concrete basis on which a roundtable discussion explored questions that included the following: Through what means can basic research institutions focusing on the humanities and social sciences contribute to development policy and practice in Africa? What mechanisms and processes stand the best chance of helping us arrive at ‘the right’ research priorities? In what ways can we imagine a both/and instead of an either/or relationship between the social sciences and humanities on one hand and STEM on the other in conversations about African development? In what ways do evolving funding arrangements for social research institutions in Africa present both challenges and opportunities for development research cooperation in changing African and global contexts? Speakers were drawn from many institutions including CODESRIA, IPAR in Dakar, Sida and the Nordic Africa Institute. Many underlined the importance of research cooperation, the funding of basic research and the potential contributions of research institutions to the construction of the African societies of the future to which many on the continent aspire. The seminar was held at the Sida head office in Stockholm, Sweden on May 4, 2016.