The ACGT associate network, SABINA, was recently represented by Ella Nyakunu at the Joint Stakeholder Conference of the EU-ACP EDULINK and ACP Science & Technology Programmes. The Conference was held from 26 to 28 of October 2010, at the ACP House in Brussels.
This was the first stakeholder conference of the ACP Science and Technology Programme (ACP S&T) and was aimed at bringing beneficiaries together to network, share experiences and learn more about the implementation of grant contracts and related reporting.
The European Union and the African, Caribbean and Pacific countries’ (EU-ACP) has, under ACP S&T, provided funding of £945000 for a SABINA project titled POL-SABINA (Policy and support actions for Southern African natural product partnership). According to Ms Nyakunu, the meeting provided valuable information to new beneficiaries about the objectives and operation of EU-ACP in general and ACP S&T in particular.
The programme proceedings began, on the first day, with a focus on EDULINK beneficiaries – including presentations by various project co-ordinators on their experiences with a specific focus on sustainability. On the second day, participants looked at the potential contributions of education, research and innovation to development. Here, the European Commission and the ACP Secretariat presented new funding opportunities in the ACP Regions and provided information about the past and future of the EDULINK and ACP S&T Programmes.
On the last day the focus fell on ACP S&T issues, where project representatives had the opportunity to briefly introduce themselves and their projects. Following presentations by four institutions from the ACP Regions, a session was held on technical and financial implementation of grant contracts and related reporting matters.
“It was very useful to gain an understanding of what is expected from us as beneficiaries. A substantial amount of time was dedicated to the ‘dos’ and ‘donts’ of reporting which will be invaluable to the first annual POL-SABINA report that we are currently producing”, said Ms Nyakunu.