According to Prof Mario Scerri, the founding Chair-holder, the chair will focus on enhancing research capacity building around the political economy of innovation studies and associated policy environments in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region as well as the broader continental context. The rationale behind the establishment of this Chair is the premise that economic integration is critical for the long term sustainability of economies across Africa.
Prof Lourens van Staden, Vice-Chancellor and Principal, extended TUT’s appreciation for the continued support that it has received from the South African Commission for UNESCO throughout the application process for the UNESCO Chair to date. “Our sincere gratitude to those departments, organisations and individuals who have endorsed TUT’s bid for this Chair. TUT wants to pledge its full support, as it begins to drive this Chair in an effective and productive manner,” he concluded.
Carlton Mukwevho, Secretary-General of NATCOM, congratulated TUT and highlighted other objectives of the Chair: These include capacity building, creating platforms for dialogue, monitoring and evaluating of policies, fostering creativity, and enhancing academic engagement, innovation and dialogue.