Across its three key result areas, SAIS 2 focuses on promoting connected ecosystems, strengthening start-ups, early-stage enterprises, and promoting inclusive entrepreneurship with a special emphasis on young entrepreneurs and innovations serving previously disadvantaged populations. The programme seeks to contribute meaningfully towards the development and increased networking of innovators in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) region.
The 3rd SADC Industrialisation Week was themed 'Promoting Infrastructure and Youth Empowerment for Sustainable Development' and hosted from 30 July-01 August 2018 at the Safari Court Hotel and Conference Centre in Windhoek, Namibia. This annual public-private engagement platform is aimed at fostering new opportunities for intra-African trade and investment in developing cross border value chains in the region. SAIS 2 hosted a break away session within the main program titled ‘Innovation Support and Technology Development in Advancing Industrial Development"and invited panelists from City of Windhoek, National Commission for Research Science and Technology (NCRST) , Office of the President of the Republic of Namibia, Namibia Business Innovation Institute (NBII) and Hivos Southern Africa to participate in the session.
Ilari Lindy, SAIS 2 Lead Expert, opened the session with a presentation on how the programme is implementing the SAIS 2 Innovation Fund and contributing to supporting early stage entrepreneurship and innovation across the region. This was followed up by Leonora Joodt who gave a presentation on the City Of Windhoek’s Youth Entrepreneurship Strategy highlighting examples of the type of support for youth innovation and entrepreneurship within the city. The panel discussion session which followed looked at the approaches in establishing innovation support programmes or instruments to advance industrialisation and the regions uptake of technology transfer for industrial development. A key focus of the discussions was also the Strengthening of Intellectual Property Rights systems to facilitate innovation and how this could be implemented practically.
Audience contribution during Q&A at the panel discussion
The three day event also featured exhibitions, with over 150 exhibitors representing all SADC countries and from a variety of industries across mining, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, agro-processing, tourism and research. SAIS 2 welcomed visitors, distributed information on the programme at an exhibition stand located in the international hall.
Visitors at the SAIS stand during SADC Industrialisation Week, with Teodensia Thomas, SAIS 2 Finance and Administration Officer