With the aim to foster cooperation and promoting the development and transfer of Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) within member states, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Science, Technology and Innovation signed by the Heads of State in 2008 entered into force in 2017.The objectives of the Protocol include, among the establishment of institutional mechanisms to strengthen regional cooperation linkages and coordination of STI Programmes.
- instituting management and coordination structures, with defined functions to facilitate the implementation of regional STI in the SADC;
- promoting the development and harmonisation of STI policies and strategies in the Region;
- pooling of resources for scientific research, technological development and innovation within the Region;
- promoting Indigenous Knowledge Systems (IKS) and its technologies especially in rural communities; protection of Intellectual Property Rights (IPRs); and promotion of gender equity and equality for STI.