Establishment of an International Council for Science Regional Office for Africa

October 19, 2004

The International Council for Science (ICSU) and the National Research Foundation of South Africa (NRF) have today signed an agreement establishing an ICSU Regional Office for Africa. The agreement was signed during the First ICSU Regional Meeting for Africa, which was hosted by the Research Council of Zimbabwe in Harare on 9 to 11 October 2004. The Regional Meeting discussed and recommended a number of priorities for the African Regional Office.

The ICSU Regional Office will be responsible for the promotion of increased participation of scientists from Sub-Saharan Africa in ICSU programmes and activities. It will also assist ICSU and its Unions in their strategic planning to ensure that African priorities are taken into account in setting the international agendas. Through collaboration with the international science community, the Office will assist in scientific capacity building in Africa. Further, it will promote scientific networking and support already existing networks active in the region.

Additional ICSU Regional Offices will be established in the Arab Region, Asia, and Latin America, including the Caribbean. These Offices will substantially increase the impact of the scientific communities of developing countries in ICSU.

The First Regional Meeting for Africa was attended by scientists from 19 countries in the Region as well as many ICSU Scientific Unions and ICSU Interdisciplinary Bodies. Representatives of UNESCO, the African Academy of Sciences and the Third World Academy of Sciences also attended.

Founded in 1931, the International Council for Science (ICSU) is a non-governmental organization representing a global membership that includes both national scientific bodies (101 members) and international scientific unions (27 members).

Through this international network, ICSU coordinates interdisciplinary research to address major issues of relevance to both science and society. In addition, the Council actively advocates for freedom in the conduct of science, promotes equitable access to scientific data and information, and facilitates science education and capacity building.
For further information, please contact:
Professor Thomas Rosswall, Executive Director, ICSU, tel. +33 (0)1 45 25 03 29, e-mail;
Dr. Khotso Mokhele, President, NRF, tel. +27 12 481 4018, e-mail; or
Professor Gabriel B. Ogunmola, Chairman, ICSU Interim Regional Committee for Africa, President Nigerian Academy of Sciences, tel. +234 2 802 307 9510, e-mail or

International Council for Science

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