Pretoria, Thursday 13 February 2020 – The Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) welcomes South Africa’s assumption of the Chairpersonship of the African Union earlier this week and the commitments by President Cyril Ramaphosa to work with the continent to build a socially inclusive and more equitable Africa for its people.
It was particularly heartening to hear South Africa committing to marshalling for the collective benefit of Africans the rich resources of the continent. President Ramaphosa said “Africa is rich in natural resources — yes, but also in history, in intellectual output, in culture, in a sense of humanity and in human capital.”
Reflecting on this, the CEO of the HSRC Professor Crain Soudien said, “The marshalling of all these resources will enable the continent and the diaspora to achieve peace, security, development, and more equitable standards of living. More importantly, we will go a long way to building an Africa that is at peace with itself.”
The HSRC also welcomes the commitments of South Africa to, during its Presidency, work with President Akufo-Addo of Ghana to ensure the interests of women are mainstreamed, and have the years 2020 to 2030 declared as the Decade of African Women’s Financial and Economic Inclusion. In his speech President Ramaphosa buttressed this with a commitment to addressing gender-based violence and making the adoption of an AU Convention on Violence Against Women a priority.
The HSRC’s Executive Director of the Africa Institute of South Africa (AISA), Professor Cheryl Hendricks said, “It would be very important for the issues affecting women to no longer be considered as side issues which are merely added on to other developmental concerns. It is heartening that South Africa will put the issues affecting women firmly on its agenda during its Chairperson in a way that will set the tone for years to come.”
Professor Hendricks, who previously worked at the Institute for Security Studies, where she was a Senior Research Fellow in the Conflict Management and Peacebuilding Programme, will be leading the HSRC team that supports the South African government’s preparation to host the Extraordinary Summit on Silencing the Guns that will be held in May 2020. In addition AISA will this year be hosting the African Unity for Renaissance Conference in Addis Abba, Ethiopia in May 2020.
In this and other areas of the AU’s Agenda 2063 the HSRC stands ready to support The Presidency and the African Union with evidence based analyses based on high quality social science and humanities research.
Notes to the Editor
About the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)
The HSRC was established in 1968 as South Africa’s statutory research agency and has grown to become the largest dedicated research institute in the social sciences and humanities on the African continent, doing cutting-edge public research in areas that are crucial to development.
Our mandate is to inform the effective formulation and monitoring of government policy; to evaluate policy implementation; to stimulate public debate through the effective dissemination of research-based data and fact-based research results; to foster research collaboration; and to help build research capacity and infrastructure for the human sciences.
The Council conducts large-scale, policy-relevant, social-scientific research for public sector users, non-governmental organizations and international development agencies. Research activities and structures are closely aligned with South Africa’s national development priorities.
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