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ATPS holds an Implementation Meeting for the ATPS Phase VI Strategic Plan 2008-2011

“We need to start developing concept notes that focus on Africa’s priority areas…” Dr Kevin Urama, Executive Director,  African Technology Policy Studies Network (ATPS) said during Implementation Meeting of the ATPS Phase VI Strategic Plan which was held at the Hilton Hotel, Nairobi on 19 July 2008.

Through this plan, ATPS is seeking to articulate its vision for the continent and its mission to contribute to poverty alleviation through science, technology and innovation (ST&I) policy research and advocacy. The meeting brought together 27 participants who included members of the ATPS Board, the ATPS National Chapter Steering Committee and renowned scholars.

Dr Urama presented an overview of the ATPS Phase VI Strategic Plan 2008-2011 during the meeting where he explained the Network’s three thematic programmes of research &research capacity building; international cooperation & partnership; and youth & gender empowerment. In addition, Dr Urama gave a run down of the three cross-cutting strategic programmes that are:

  1. Training and sensitization;
  2. Science communication and stakeholder dialogue;
  3. Outreach, knowledge brokerage and policy advocacy.

According to Dr Urama, these strategic programmes will be intertwined with continuous monitoring and evaluation. Any future concept notes to ATPS will have to be developed under these guidelines in order to fit into donor’s funding requirements.

The highlight of the meeting was a presentation by Prof Bob Orskov who is the founder of the Orskov Foundation, a member of the Macaulay Land Use Research Institute in Aberdeen as well as a Professor at the Aberdeen University. Prof Orskov shared his experiences from working with small farmers globally and offered suggestions on how poor farmers can be motivated to produce more. While showing the participants short documentaries of various initiatives that he had been working on in Asia, he suggested that minimizing risks, underpinning prices and encouragement of community production could encourage small farmers to be  more productive. He concluded by saying that empowering the poor farmer is a step towards poverty alleviation. Participants were very excited about the possibility of such initiatives in their own countries.

Thereafter, the national coordinators and invited resource persons, presented draft concept notes in line with the strategic priorities. Dr George Essegbey from ATPS Ghana presented a concept note on conducting a regional review on the progress towards the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) where he noted that there were discrepancies between the Africa DevelopmentIndicators (World Bank) and the continental statistics on how much progress has been achieved so far. Mr Kenneth Aduda from ATPS Kenya also presented a concept on building a policy framework for nanotechnology where he outlined some of the multiple and complex factors, and needs involved in establishing appropriate management strategies for new and emerging technologies, such as, nanotechnology.

Ms Bitrina Diyamett, from ATPS Tanzania, made a presentation titled A Training Project on the Analysis of Innovation Systems and Innovative Clusters in Africa. The presentation was based on her experience in an existing project on STI Indicators which involved training on STI indicators and how to conduct R&D and Innovation surveys. According to Ms Diyamett, the major objective of the training was to empower African countries to be able to monitor and regularly evaluate their innovation systems through research and development (R&D) and innovation surveys, something that has become a global practice. Ms Diyamett explained that the training however revealed a need for deeper understanding of important concepts such as, invention and innovation, if participants were expected to conduct any meaningful surveys. During her presentation, Ms Diyamett also gave details about the ‘Cluster Initiatives Project’ that indicated a need for training on the relationship between innovation systems and innovative clusters.

Posted on Saturday 19th July, 2008




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