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ATPS Chapters plan activities for the 2011 Scientific Revival Day

The 46th Ministerial Conference of the African Union (AU) in 1987 declared 30th June as a day reserved to commemorate the Scientific Revival Day of Africa (SRDA). The SRDA is a day for Africans to re-examine the role science and technology plays in their lives, the prevailing environment for science and technology, the achievements, missed opportunities, and strength of her science policy. The African Technology Policy Studies Network, through its National Chapters has over the years organised events to mark the SRDA day in various countries.The following is a highlight of the planned commemorative activities for the SRDA 2011 in the various ATPS Chapters:

1. ATPS Nigeria

ATPS Nigeria marked the Scientific Revival Day of Africa on 6th July 2011 The major activity for the celebration was a symposium on “Climate Change Adaptation Strategies and Policies”

The celebrations took place at the Princess Alexandra Auditorium, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Enugu State, Nigeria. The event was organised in partnership with the University of Nigeria (UNN), the African Technology Policies Studies Network (ATPS), Kenya, and the Open Society Foundation (OSF) of the United States of America, the Development Partnerships in Higher Education (DelPHE) of UK and the Faculty of Agriculture, UNN, under the UNN-ATPS-OSF project on building trans-disciplinary climate change adaption capacity at the University of Nigeria whose major objective is to develop capabilities and curriculum for new programmes on climate change adaptation.

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2. ATPS Lesotho

The ATPS Lesotho Chapter will mark this year’s Scientific Revival Day on the 30th of August 2011. The main agenda of the workshop will be To adopt and Launch the African Manifesto for Science Technology and Innovation. Other activities planned include sensitization of the public on the African Manifesto, assisting political parties to integrate STI and entrepreneurship in their party manifesto as well as raising awareness of the activities of the ATPS and the ATPS Lesotho Chapter to the general public. The event will also feature the appearance of Mahase Kolosa, a Famous Lesotho traditional mucisian, who has composed several songs touching on Science Technology and Innovation such as “Technology Governs the world”, “Know each other with Appropriate Technology Services” and “Trusting Communications and Information Technologies”

3. ATPS Malawi

The ATPS Malawi Chapter together with the Registrar General’s office and the University of Malawi plan to hold a panel discussion on the role of Intellectual Property, (IP) in Technology Transfer and Commercialialization to mark the 2011 SRD. The discussion will bring together experts and local inventors to discuss the challenges of IP and how best researchers, technologists, and inventors as well as how the local communities can benefit from the exploitation of IP. Date to be communicated later.

4. ATPS Uganda

ATPS Uganda will mark the 2011 SRD by holding a workshop themed Fostering Science, Technology and Innovation for Future Development”. The aim will be promoting Science and Technology as part of life in Uganda, especially using Scientific, Technological and Innovation remedies to solve major challenges such as poverty, disease and the effects of climate change. This event will also be used to popularise the chapter’s activities to Ugandans, popularise the African Manifesto as well as examine policy frameworks including the policy framework for Science and Technology in Uganda and strategies to improve them.The date for the activities will also be communicated.

5. ATPS Ghana

The Ghana chapter plans to organise a commemorative workshop that will be targetted to the promotion and acculturation of Science Technology and Innovation in Ghana with an aim of demystifying the subject to expose its ernormous benefits for the development of the country and Africa. The workshop will seek to bring out ways of integrating STI into the fabric of national psyche and thinking. It will also seek to challenge experts to develop local teaching aids to help revive the interest in learning and applying STI within the fabric of the society.

6. ATPS Kenya

ATPS Kenya chapter and the National council for Science and Technology (NCST) in partnership with other likeminded STI actors will commemorate the 2011 Scientific Revival Day in Africa on Friday 29th July 2011. The theme for this year’s commemoration is “Agricultural Science, Technology and Innovation for Youth Empowerment”. The event will target mainly the youth aged between 15 and 35 years and will be aimed at creating awareness of the role of STI in agriculture, creating a forum for the youth to share experiences in agri-business, building partnerships and institutional linkages for promotion of agri-business among the youth among others.

7. ATPS Zimbabwe

Zimbabwe will hold its inaugural commemoration of the SRD in partnership with the Ministry of Science and Technology Development, the Zimbabwe Academy of Science and the Zimbabwe Association of Inventors. The chapter has planned for three workshops to mark the day, whose main objectives will be to disseminate and popularize the recently launched African Manifesto for Science and Technology, seek inputs into the drafting of the Zimbabwe Second Science and Technology policy as well as strengthen the capacity of stakeholders to make more informed inputs into the new S&T policy.

8. ATPS Benin

The Benin Chapter commemorated the SRD on 30th June 2011. The theme of the event was “Science, Technology and society in Benin: The social responsibility of scientists in missed opportunities and challenges ahead for Benin’s scientific Revival and Development.” The workshop aimed at engaging researchers, users, policy makers and other stakeholders in a fruitful dialogue on Science, Technology and Development; raising awareness among researchers on the need to address in their work, practical problems faced by decision makers, populations and other potential users of their research results and raising awareness among policymakers and donors on the critical role of research results in the development of informed policies.

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