Conference on Innovation for Poverty Alleviation – Tuesday 18 September 2012

The South African Department of Science and Technology (DST) and the European Commission are
organising a Conference on “Innovation for Poverty Alleviation” as side event to the fifth South
Africa – EU Summit. The Conference will present and celebrate the European Union’s development
cooperation programme on “Innovation for Poverty Alleviation” with South Africa. The event will
take place in Brussels on Tuesday 18 September 2012. The programme will include a keynote
address by His Excellency, President Jacob Zuma, President of the Republic of South Africa as well as
contributions from the European Commissioner for Development, Commissioner Andris Piebalgs
and South Africa’s Minister of Science and Technology, Her Excellency, Minister Naledi Pandor.
Within the framework of the South Africa -European Union Strategic Partnership, there is a shared
policy conviction that science and technology are critical instruments for sustainable growth and
development, which also play an essential role in poverty alleviation efforts. It is against this
background that ‘Innovation for Poverty Alleviation’ programme has been developed. It is funded
for an amount of €30 million by the EU and implemented by the DST, to complement and enhance
the Department’s programmes to deploy science and technology and harness innovation to fight
poverty in South Africa. The Conference will include presentations of success stories implemented
under the cooperation programme, for example related to support for innovative ICT platforms to
bring connectivity to remote rural areas. In this regard the “wireless mesh network” project
provides 185 schools and 60 000 citizens with connectivity, with the support of 17 new small
enterprises established in these communities. Other examples include technology transfer
partnerships, including with industry, to foster the creation of sustainable community owned
enterprises in poverty-stricken areas. These enterprises are for example active in sectors such as
essential oils and medicinal plants.
Proceedings will conclude with a panel discussion on how science and technology’s potential to
contribute to poverty alleviation could best be leveraged under the South Africa – EU Strategic
Partnership, as well as under the broader Joint Africa-EU Strategy. This discussion should be
especially relevant for the current consideration of the development of new cooperation
instruments. The conference agenda is available at The event will take
place at the Sheraton Hotel in Brussels (Place Rogier 3, Metro: Rogier.)

Enquiries regarding registration should kindly be addressed to Ms Francoise Dassy of the South African Mission to the
European Union at
The programme is available here: Alleviate Poverty Programme