The Swiss South African Joint Committee, the supreme body and highest authority of SSAJRP, defines the strategic goals and orientation of SSAJRP. The committee is composed of an equal number of representatives of Switzerland and South Africa and chaired jointly by a representative of the Swiss and the South African Government. On the Swiss side, the Joint Committee comprises representatives of the Government (SERI), SNSF, the University of Basel and the Swiss TPH.
The Swiss Steering Committee is responsible for the overall strategic management and direction of the SSAJRP in Switzerland. It oversees the planning, implementation, and progress of SSAJRP in Switzerland and ensures equal access to the programme and fair treatment to all research institutes in Switzerland. The Swiss Steering Committee is chaired by the State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation and is composed of representatives from:
- University of Basel
- Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute
- A University of Applied Sciences (FHNW)
- An external industry expert
The Advisory Board comprises internationally renowned scientists and industry representatives providing a broad representation of expertise pertaining to the various scientific interests of SSAJRP. Members of the Advisory Board serve in their individual capacities and are nominated by members of the Swiss Steering Committee.
SSAJRP has the following goals:
- Advance scientific and technological collaboration between Switzerland and South Africa in the academic and independent research sector.
- Strengthen existing mutually beneficial partnerships and support the formation of new and enduring cooperation networks between education and research institutions in the two countries.
- Promote innovative bilateral projects and ambitious research ideas that yield important theoretical insights as well as practical benefits for local communities.
- Increase the visibility of Swiss universities and research institutions in South Africa by facilitating faculty and student exchanges in the respective other country.
The University of Basel has developed close ties with Southern Africa over several centuries. Since the founding of the Basler Mission (today mission21) in 1815, Basel has been building competence in research on South Africa. Vital for the establishment of scientific relations has been the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, whose research on malaria prevention in Tanzania was awarded the Prince of Asturias Price.
The reputed Basel University Centre for African Studies and the exhaustive collection Basel Africa Bibliographies (Namibia Resource Centre and Southern Africa Library) are regularly contacted by international Africa researchers. The inauguration of the Centre of Competence on Africa and the nomination of the University of Basel as Leading House for a bilateral collaboration program with South Africa (SSAJRP) have further consolidated the University’s expert position in the field of African studies.