STEM and Gender Advancement (SAGA) Team Mission to Sudan
On the 1-2 May 2018, the UNESCO Khartoum Office in partnership with the Sudanese National Commission for Education, Science and Culture (NATCOM) and the UNESCO Chair for Women in Sciences and Technology organized a training workshop on STEM and Gender Advancement (SAGA) at the premises of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research in Khartoum, Sudan. About 30 professionals attended the workshop, including of H.E. Dr. Thani Abdullah, the Minister of Communications and Information Technologies, H.E. Dr. Tabitha Botros, the State Minister in the Ministry of Water Resources, Irrigation and Electricity, H.E Dr. Pavel Kroupkine, the UNESCO Representative to Sudan, H.E. Prof. Abdin Salih, the member in UNESCO Executive Board, and Prof. Mahir Salih, the Deputy Vice Chancellor of Sudan University for Sciences and Technology.
The Global SAGA project is funded by Swedish International Development Agency, and aims to develop and deploy a set of indicators concerning women’s involvement in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) in different countries. Sudan was included in the list of countries for piloting the developed results.
The workshop continued for two days: 1-2 May 2018. The training activities was mainly implemented by the SAGA visiting team, Mr. Alessandro Bello, the consultant in the STI Division of the UNESCO HQ in Paris, and Dr. Kim Deslandes from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics in Montreal, Canada. In addition, Prof. Alshefa Abdelgadir, the UNESCO Chair for Women in Sciences and Technology, Prof. Mustafa Ahmed Al Haj, the National Research Center, and Mr. Abdelgadir Salih, the UNESCO Khartoum Office, presented the national context for the project.
The workshop attracted an attention of the Sudanese Media. Al-Shorooq TV Channel interviewed Prof. Alshefa Abdelgadir, the Director of the UNESCO Chair for Women in Sciences and Technology, and Mr. Abdelgadir Salih, the Sciences Officer in the UNESCO Khartoum Office. Mr. Salih briefed the medium about the project, and highlighted UNESCO’s intention to cooperate with national partners in Sudan to advance women’s role in STEM, where without any doubts the Sudanese women could contribute more than now.
Then, on 3 May 2018, a follow-up working group meeting took place on the UNESCO Khartoum Office’s premises, with participation of UNESCO SAGA team representatives Mr. Alessandro Bello and Dr. Kim Deslandes, and national women activists, including the Deputy Director of the National Research Center Prof. Magda Osman, Director of UNESCO Chair for Women in Sciences and Technology, Prof. Alshefa Abdelgadir, Coordinator for UNESCO Chair for Technology Transfer, Dr. Awad Elseed and representatives from Sudanese Scientist Women Organization led by the Chairperson, Dr. Nashwa Mustafa. The UNESCO Khartoum office was represented by the Gender Focal Point, Ms. Dalal Siddig, and Science Officer, Mr. Abdelgadir Salih.
The meeting resulted in creation of a national team with membership of the NATCOM, National Research Center, UNESCO Chair for Women in Sciences and Technology, UNESCO Chair for Technology Transfer, Scientist Women Organization. The national team shall contribute to the SAGA Project in accordance with the developed action plan.
Then, later in the afternoon, the SAGA team visited the premises of the UNESCO Chair for Women in Sciences and Technology along with H.E. Mr. Maher Salih, the deputy Vice Chancellor at Sudan University for Sciences and Technology. Prof. Alshefa Abdelgadir, the Director of the Chair, guided the guests showing the Chair’s premises and presenting the Chair’s accomplishments, including recent rural developments in Darfur and Red Sea state. Then, after lunch, the participants shared their impressions of the SAGA Project, and agreed to strengthen the coordination and involvement of Sudan in the Project’s activities.