Jidaw Systems
(MASTERCOMPUTERS)


Science with Africa Conference organized by Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) in collaboration with the African Union Commission (AUC)

- Building the future's IT workforce

ECA in collaboration with the AUC and its partners organized the first ever "Science with Africa" conference from 3- 7 March 2008 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to explore how African science based entities can increase their collaboration with and participation in international science and R&D projects..

The Science with Africa

The Constitutive Act establishing the African Union calls upon the development of the continent by promoting research in all fields particularly in science and technology. In this regard, the first Conference of African Minister's for Science and Technology, in November 2003, recommended the integration of Africa's science and technology programmes particularly AUC and NEPAD programmes into a consolidated and well-coordinated policy and programme framework for Africa in order to direct socio-economic development of the continent through science and technology.

Furthermore, one of the strategic focus areas of the Economic Commission for Africa's (ECA) programme priorities is promoting regional integration in support of the AU vision and priorities. ECA support to the implement of AUC regional integration agenda focuses on undertaking research and policy analysis on the issues. It also seeks to strengthen capacity and provide technical assistance to institutions driving the regional integration agenda, including Regional Economic Communities (RECs), and working on a range of trans-boundary initiatives and activities in sectors vital to the regional integration agenda.

In addition, ECA promotes the use of science, technology and innovation in economic development. It also supports the NEPAD S&T and Consolidated Plan of Action, and promotes establishment of S&T parks and incubators in member States. Research and development activities are also undertaken on selected emerging issues and topics of importance. As part of its work to promote the application of S&T for development, ECA provides support to selected centres of excellence in the various sub regions and facilitates networking among them.

In 2007, AU recognized the need for a focused discussion at the highest level on effective development and utilization of science and technology and assigned the theme "Science, technology and Scientific Research for Development" to its January 2007 Heads of State and Government Summit. The Summit subsequently declared the year 2007 as the launching year of building constituencies and champions for Science and Technology and innovation in Africa. It supported the establishment of Pan African Intellectual Property Organization (PAIPO). It reiterated its commitment to Khartoum 2006 decision urging Member States to allocate at least 1% of Gross Domestic product (GDP) to Research and Development. It also endorsed the need for South-South and North -South cooperation in science, technology and innovation.

Mr. Abdoulie Janneh, Executive Secretary of the United National Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), at this AU Summit, highlighted the need to improve science and technology and related policy options for African states and the associated fragility of links between the scientific community and political institutions in Africa.
Mr. Janneh called for Africa to undertake "a major science and technology capacity building initiative in order to generate, revamp and deploy large numbers of scientists, engineers and technicians". He also stressed the need to create and foster strong links between technology-based industries, academic institutions and governments, as well as establish public-private partnerships in scientific and technological research to allow Africa to develop appropriate technologies for national needs.


Conference Objectives

  • Increased synergies between European USA and other global science based organisations and those of Africa,
  • to promote North-South cooperation,
  • to foster technology transfer and to improve existing R&D activities, centers of excellence and partnerships;
  • Improved linkages between international scientific research programmes and business enterprises to expedite economic growth in Africa.
  • Provide a framework for using Science and Technology options to support economic progress in Africa;

Conference Themes

Cross -cutting Themes
 

  • Science Policy

Science with Africa explores how best practices in science policy evaluation can be applied to assist policy makers in developing tools and methodologies, which will serve as a guide for improved scientific capacity and the overall competitiveness of the respective states and how to support the AUC and NEPAD initiatives to develop common science and technology policy framework for the continent.

Science Technology and Innovation

  • Science with Africa Market Place where proposals based on abstracts were received from both African and International Scientists
  • Clinical Trials workshop aimed at developing guidelines for health research in Africa
  • Capacity building in STI, which examined the development of STI in Africa, as well as exploring how S&T can improve the role of women in Africa and the use of local languages

Science Themes

Energy
Explore energy options for African countries in order to achieve sustainable development and encourage existing and new collaborative projects which contribute to sustainable energy future in Africa;

Transport and Infrastructure
Examine development strategies and present cooperative research projects for the improvement of transport infrastructures;

Health
Identify policies and strategies, including different financing formats, to boost research and development on major health issues in Africa such as HIV/AIDS and malaria and present regional, natinal and international initiatives and help to create synergies.

Life Science
Analyse opportunities offered by new developments in Life Sciences for Africa; demonstrate the strengths of African Life Sciences; present existing research collaborations as well as European and African initiatives and institutions in the field of Life Sciences.

Agriculture and Climate Change
Review and make recommendations regarding African R&D strategy; show scenarios and foresight studies in the field of agriculture under climate change threat; present recent developments in agricultural research particularly in the areas of integrated R&D applied to agricultural commodity value chains and related interface with climate change.

ICT
Demonstrate the potential of ICT for the support of African science based organisations; existing cooperative R&D projects in the field of ICT were presented;  the need of ICT in support of traditional governance in rural development, education, rural urban and rural connectivity in Africa (internet access, eCommerce, telemedicine, It transfer, mobile networks) was
analysed.

Water
Analyze Science and Technology solutions to the major water management problems; present technologies and scientific projects in the field of water purification; present existing cooperative R&D programmes/projects in the field of water management;

 

The Audience

The conference brought together:

African and international scientists; Experts in the areas of science, project management, dissemination, partnering, intellectual property & patents,  research management and the commercialization and exploitation of research results; African science and technology policy and decision makers; International and African private sector and Civil Society organizations (CSOs)

Exhibition
In addition, the exhibition space featured international and local companies, organizations and government offices specializing in a variety of services.

Ideas Factory

The Global Knowledge Partnership (GKP) in Africa, ECA, Brainstore and GKP with the support of the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC) facilitated a knowledge sharing process during the conference. The knowledge sharing process led by Brainstore was in form of an Ideas Factory where the conference participants developed ideas on how African R&D can be strengthened and how the participation of African scientists in international research projects can be notably increased.

 

 

What Do you Have to Say? Post Your Comments about this Content Resource Here.

Comments

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April 3, 2008

 

J. Saleh from Tanzania says:

 

 

Thank you, Sirs. But when will Africa stop talking and start acting? Until we act, r&d and science will not mean much. 

 

 


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DISRUPT THE STATUS QUO!

     
1.

Ideas are not enough. You must be action oriented to improve your future.

 

 
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Don't just think but act. You get results not only from thinking but from acting.

 

 
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You have ideas. You want to achieve. You want opportunity.

 

 
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But what are you still doing in your comfort zone? The comfort zone is a dangerous place.

 

 
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"I wanted to", "I was going to" cannot put on a light bulb, not to talk of moving you forward.

 

 
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Aren't you tired of hoping and criticizing? Stop defending status quo that locks you down.

 

 
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GO on the offensive now with IT Education and Empowerment.

 

 
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What is the use of ideas without action?

 

 
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Start becoming the achiever you deserve to be.

 

 
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MAKE SURE THERE IS NO STANDING ROOM FOR EXCUSES.