The Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) jointly with the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the Network of African Science Academies (NASAC) hosted the 12th Annual Meeting of African Science Academies (AMASA). The meeting which brought together 150 representatives from over 22 African science academies met from 6 to 9 November 2016 to deliberate on poverty reduction on the continent and the challenges faced by Africa due to extreme poverty.
There was also representation from the Global Young Academy with 15 young academies from seven different countries in Africa.
The two-day scientific conference intensively discussed five major sub-themes:
- Food Security
- Social Determinants of Health
- Agricultural Innovation and Sustainable Agriculture in Africa
- Gender & Poverty
- Water, Energy & Poverty
NASAC also held its Water communication event during the session on Water, Energy & Poverty at the AMASA conference hosted by ASSAf on 8th November 2016 from11:40hrs to 13:15hrs. At this event, participants were taken through the journey that led to the realization of the policy booklet on The Grand Challenge of Water Security in Africa-Recommendations to Policymakers. Key messages highlighted in the booklet were thoroughly discussed and it was recommended that NASAC should contribute to the Africa Water Vision 2025 and lobby governments to further exploit marine resources for the benefit of the people.
NASAC has in the past held many activities related to water and they were listed as below:
- 2009 NASAC set up a Water Programme Steering Committee – Desktop studies were initiated
- 28-31 March 2012 Mauritius Conference on “Water Management Issues in Africa”
- October 2014 – Session on Water during the S&T Ministerial Forum in Rabat, Morocco
- November 2015 – Launched the booklet in Nairobi, Kenya - side-event of AMASA-11
- November 2016 – Communication event at AMASA-12 in South Africa
A policymakers' booklet on Social Protection in Africa was launched at the AMASA meeting. The booklet provides an overview of social protection in Africa, with a primary focus on non-contributory social protection, which includes cash and in-kind assistance and public works programmes. It highlights the key issues in social protection in Africa and provides several case studies to illustrate the diversity of programmes, which seek to address the overarching goal of reducing poverty and inequality.
Ten key messages stipulating the benefits of social protection are highlighted. Among these are that social protection should be seen not as a narrow social sector concern, but as part of an overall development strategy, to be designed and implemented in synergy with complementary investments in health, education, nutrition, livelihoods support, agriculture and other productive sectors. It concludes that social protection policies are most effective when they are combined with other social and economic policies to sustainably address poverty and inequality.