Key Messages for the African Union and African Governments

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Posted on 25th November, 2012by Prof. ATPS Admin

The African leaders and scholars from 29 countries from Africa, Australia, Europe, United States of America, India and Africans in the Diaspora meeting in Addis Ababa for the ATPS internal conference 2012, have observed that

  • Africa has a comparative advantage for transitioning to a low carbon development pathway that is inclusive, sustainable and resource efficient.
  • If supported by endogenous research and capacity building, some emerging technologies and existing sustainable development practices on the African continent can help to improve productivity and resource efficiency for inclusive development in Africa.
  • Social innovations provide opportunities for enhancing economic growth and social prosperity through youth employment, entrepreneurship and value creation.

  • African Universities stand to benefit from the mainstreaming trans-disciplinary research and teaching to overcome the weak collaboration and coordination that exist between disciplines, universities, industry, the public sector and civil society in Africa.
  • African countries are not effectively harnessing the untapped potential of the continent’s bulging youth and women population for development.

Based on these observations, they came up with recommendations for the African Union and African governments including:

  • Africa needs to lead its own dialogue on low carbon development and green growth and proactively invest in the required capacities to ensure African ownership of the inevitable transitioning processes that are unfolding globally.
  • There is a need for a shift towards trans-disciplinary teaching and research approaches to encourage collaboration and networking across disciplines and between universities, the productive sectors and civil society, with special reference to innovation-driven value addition, employment creation and inclusive development strategies.
  • In order to harness the resource potential for productivity improvements in Africa, urgent and significant investments is required in STI education and research to build endogenous capacities for appropriate technology development, diffusion, deployment and regulation.
  • Harnessing the opportunities for social innovations will require a favourable policy environment, incentive structures, innovation incubation, training and mentorship in entrepreneurship.
  • Proactive measures to harness the potentials of the youth and women in STI policymaking and implementation are necessary pre-requisites for achieving the SDGs in Africa.

While closing the conference, Prof. Shaukat Abdulrazak, the chair of the ATPS Board pointed out that African governments and policy makers in education must emphasize demystification of science.

Through this, noted Prof. Abdulrazak, attitude of science can become a culture in Africa.

The executive director Prof. Kevin Urama said that Africans should stop agonizing about problems facing the continent, but rather to start organizing the solution.

He noted that technology innovation is the way out for Africa, noting the innovation in telecommunication like Mpesa technology in Kenya which changing millions of lives in the country.

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