'Hosting the WSSF conference will therefore be a big boost for social sciences in Africa.'
In 2010 the HSRC embarked on a process of making its research data available for further analyses, and at this stage some 17 data sets have been curated, further contributing to the promotion of the social sciences and humanities.
On the financial side, Dr Shisana reported that the HSRC has received an unqualified audit for the tenth consecutive year.
The HSRC receives a parliamentary grant of just over R170 million and an external income budget average of R140 million, of which R80 million was funded by the international donor community, suggesting that the HSRC works well with the funding agencies and donor organisations.
It was a difficult financial year for the HSRC as the global economic meltdown resulted in a reduction of income for the organisation in the 2009/10 and 2010/11 financial years. The economic downturn, which mainly upset western markets, impacted severely on the HSRC’s activities, with the United States providing most of the international funding recorded over the past five years.
Dr Shisana expressed her gratitude to the Department of Science and Technology (DST), which assisted the organisation in securing a number of government-commissioned research projects. The DST also supported the HSRC by making extra funding available to sustain its research work.
The organisation is implementing a strategy of ensuring that our markets are diversified, with the European markets and other areas earmarked for growth to ensure long-term sustainability from all parts of the world, Dr Shisana said.
The full report is available on www.hsrc.ac.za
Africa renews its commitment to accelerated youth development
The 17th African Union (AU) Summit of Heads of States and Government, held in Malabo, Guinea Bissau recently, accepted recommendations made in the HSRC's State of the African Youth report. The report, commissioned by the AU, is a follow-up of a previous report compiled in 2005 by the HSRC on the status of youth in Africa and the drafting of the African Youth Charter.
The Summit accepted among other things that:
- All AU member states should advance the youth agenda and adopt policies and mechanisms towards the creation of safe, decent and competitive employment opportunities by accelerating the implementation of the Youth Decade Plan of Action (2009-2018) and the Ouagadougou 2004 Plan of Action on Employment Promotion and Poverty Alleviation;
- The AU Commission, in collaboration with its partners, should elaborate a technical and vocational education and training (TVET) framework that specifically addresses the domains of agriculture and information and communication technology (ICT), while accelerating the implementation of the Youth Decade Plan of Action.
The 2011 report was developed by a team of researchers from the HSRC’s Public Health, Health Systems and Innovation research programme.
It painted in broad brush-strokes the main demographic and socioeconomic issues relating to population size and age-gender structure of young people in Africa, such as education and ICT access, labour market participation, hunger and poverty, youth mobility, health, substance abuse, youth crime and violence, and civic participation.