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Call for Papers for the Third African Regional Conference of Vice Chancellors and Deans of Science, Engineering and Technology - COVIDSET 2009 - Kampala, Uganda November 23-26, 2009

13-02-09 - With the organization of this third edition of the Conference of Vice Chancellors and Deans of Science, Engineering and Technology (COVIDSET), the African Network of Scientific and Technological Institutions, ANSTI, is affirming its commitment to make this forum of African leaders responsible for university training and research, an important and regular platform for exchange, debate of ideas, capacity building and design of concrete actions to improve the impact of high level training and research on Africa's development.

The theme of COVIDSET 2009, feeds on the logic of the first two previous conferences, which were held on the issues of education, specifically the "State of Science and Technology Training Institutions" (COVIDSET 2005) and "Science and Engineering Education for Sustainable Development" (COVIDSET 2007). COVIDSET 2009 aims at dwelling on the issue of science and technology research and its deployment to serve society.

While most scholars widely agree on the important contribution of science and technology research in accelerating development i most advanced and emerging economies, such contribution can only come about when the outcomes of research are successfully deployed to serve development needs. Africa, unfortunately lack substantive evidence on the role that research has been playing in its development, because of the relatively small part of technology related activities in its GDP. Indeed, Africa's economies are largely basic commodity-driven.

Scholars agree that among the many challenges that the Science, Engineering, Technology and Research (SETR) sector face on the continent, inadequate or lack of policy, regulatory barriers or uncertainties, and unrealistic strategies are prominent. While addressing policy and regulation gaps often relate to the existence of a determined political will, designing adequate strategies call for more technical capacities that are critically weak on the continent. Thus, the role of university and research scholars should be emphasized, especially when it comes to improving their working environment and establishing the pertinence of research to the African society.

On the wake of increasing challenges faced by African countries in achieving sustainable development and becoming visible playes in the global economy, revitalizing S&T research, and emphasizing deployment of scientific and technological innovations appear as the most promising paths for African economie to attain a level of global competitiveness.

Fortunately, there are numerous examples in Africa and around the world of successful policies, regulations and strategies for undertaking vibrant research and deploying efficiently the products of research and innovation o impact economies. Such cases need to be shared and lessons drawn for the continent.

Many high-level fora of scientists in Africa, such as the Congress of African Scientist and Policymakers (CASP) convened by the African Union, and the 2007 Africa Union Summit of Head of States and Governments have acknowledged the low level of funding and investment fr research in Africa. Overcoming this well recognized fact, require more reflection on the causes, and moreover, developing concrete recommendations on means and ways to overcome this challenge.

Consequently the conference proposes to discuss the main theme along the line of the three sub-themes announced below.

The conference aims at providing a forum for discussing the main theme, along the lines of three sub themes. It should contribute to increasing the capacities of the participants and collect innovative ideas on means and ways to addres the challenges for revitalizing S&T research and deployment through effective policy, regulations and strategies.

The main theme is:

Revitalizing Science, Engineering and Technology Research and Deployment for Sustainable Development in Africa

The sub themes are:

1. Science, Engineering and Technology R&D and Deployment Strategies: Case studies;
2. Issues in R&D and Deployment policy and implementation
3. Harnessing partnerships for strengthening R&D and Deployment in Africa; and
4. Investment in R&D and Deployment in Africa.

While discussing the above mentioned themes and sub themes, the conference (through the various papers and presentations) will consider the following questions:

- What it the current status of SET research, development and development and deployment systems in African universities and research centers?

- Are prevailing policies, regulations and strategies conducive to vibrant R&D and deployment?

- What lessons can be drawn from successful R&D and Deployment (R&D&D) cases in Africa?

- What role can South-South and North-South partnerships play in revitalizing R&D&D? - Policy implications.

- What role can African scientists in the Diaspora play?

- Can African university and research centers design strategies that can make R&D more responsive to priority development needs on the continent?

- What strategies may be considered to increase investment from the public and private sector for R&D&D in Africa?

University leaders with experience and/or knowledge of the issues covered in the theme/sub -themes of the conference are invited to submit a 200 -250 words abstract to the ANSTI secretariat. Papers should address at one or several of the issues to ponder. African scientists in the Diaspora and women in science are encouraged to submit papers.

The abstract should include the title, name of author(s), affiliation, mailing address, e -mail, and fax numbers. For ease and speed of communication, all correspondences between authors and the organizers will be made by e-mail.

Abstracts should be received by the ANSTI Secretariat. Please take note of the deadlines below
Submission of abstracts.................................30th April 2009
Notification of abstract acceptance.............30th June 2009
Submission of final manuscript....................15th August 2009
To be announced at a later stage.

From experience with the last Forum, we are expecting over 200 participants from among leaders of institutions responsible for teaching and/or research in the region. These will include Vice-Chancellors, Deans of Faculties and Heads of academic departments in African universities. There will also be participants from amongst the African diaspora, the donor community and agencies involved in Higher Education and the promotion of Science and Technology in Africa.

click for Details of Accommodation, Financial Support and updates of the conference documents and information which are available on the conference website.



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February 13, 2009


Vincent Addo of Accra, Ghana says:



Hope it will not be just theories but will address African problems. I'm not too sure.



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