ATPS plans to identify and promote appropriate technologies and innovations for improving productivity and resilience, reducing waste and improving value addition along the agricultural value chain from farm to table. This is in line with STISA priorities 1, 4 and 6 and will also aid in achieving SDGs 1, 2, 3 and 12. The focus of attention will include innovations in the fields of farming systems and technologies, biotechnology (i.e. seed and livestock technology/genetics), yield enhancement and loss control (i.e. fertilizers and pest control), as well as social innovations such as farm information management systems and the use of Information and Communication Technologies such as smart mobile telephones and satellite data, Geographical Information Systems (GIS), etc. Already, the ATPS is out-scaling an award-winning LandInfo mobile app technology developed in partnership with partners under the leadership of the USDA-ARS. The app enables farmers to determine the potential of any given piece of soil through the climatic and soil information that the app provides instantly. In the new strategic plan, ATPS hopes to continue its work in out-scaling the LandInfo mobile app across Africa by building the capacity of extension agents and farmers on the use of the technology to support farm decision-making on productivity, land-use management and resilience. Food, nutrition and health outcomes will also form a critical and major focus for the ATPS in the coming years under the current strategy.
ATPS plans to promote renewable energy access and development on the continent. Lack of access to modern energy services (e.g. electricity and clean cooking facilities) and massive dependence on fossil fuels have hampered sustainable socio-economic development even as the access to modern and reliable energy services is a critical human development priority. These plans are in line with the SDGs 3, 7, 11 and 13. Incidentally, the resource potentials of hydro, solar, wind and geothermal energy resources in Africa present huge supply-side market opportunities for low carbon technology development and technology transfer. Available evidence shows that Africa has significant comparative resource advantage to take a lead in the global renewable energy markets if necessary policy environments and the right incentives are provided. ATPS will champion this course of scaling up energy infrastructure to strengthen energy security and climate resilience on the continent by providing necessary incentive structures, capabilities and enabling policy environment for it to happen.
ATPS plans to strengthen its longstanding efforts in building climate change resilient capacities at individual, institutional and systemic levels on the continent as expressed in SDGs 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15 and as strategized by the AU in STISA’s priority goal 4. We will continue to promote our Climate Sense Program (CSP) launched in 2008 in partnership with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). CSP aims to:
Under the health sector, ATPS plans to integrate research programs on innovations and policies for sustainable health delivery and health risk prevention, including health technology policy studies, and social innovations for advancing health and wellbeing in communities. SDGs 3 and 6 clearly cover these while SDG 9 emphasizes on the use of technology to make the realization of the targets of this sector. ATPS will pay specific attention to the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and social innovations for health delivery, risk prevention and mitigation. Potential projects include Telemedicine, e-medicine using mobile telephone platforms and social networking sites, indigenous approaches to nutrition for health and wellness; mobile health diagnostics systems, etc. We intend to support research and development on emerging diseases on the continent. The organization will advocate for regulatory harmonization of registration of pharmaceuticals and vaccines across regional blocs on the continent to ensure easy access and free trade across borders.
Under this strategic objective, we plan to build capabilities, structures, and conditions for the co-production of scientific knowledge, technologies, innovations, and policies across the identified priority sectors for sustainable development in Africa. The concept of co-production of knowledge (transdisciplinarity) is strongly emphasized in the work of the ATPS to ensure proper contextualization and socialization of STI in the society for effective development, deployment, diffusion, commercialization and upscaling of innovations. AU also employs the use of STI in addressing/implementing its priority areas as contained in STISA. We recognize that an STI-led development is a political endeavour and hence will work closely with the political class and policymakers to attract their goodwill towards STI issues on the continent.
Under this strategic objective, we plan to enhance the skills and capacities of individuals and organizations in STI policy research, policymaking and policy implementation for sustainable development on the continent. Themes for training and capacity building/strengthening have been identified with the stakeholders comprising of researchers, policymakers, private sectors, civil society and the media. These themes will be continuously reviewed according to evolving needs and demands by the stakeholders. Such themes may include but not limited to STI policymaking/policy formulation processes, STI policy research methodologies, STI indicators and policy instruments, effective research-policy- practice linkages, effective science communication skills, entrepreneurship development, intellectual property issue, business development, green growth concepts and best practices, etc. ATPS has also developed standard manuals for conducting its capacity building trainings for its stakeholders on-demand basis.
Under this strategic objective, we plan to nurture and harness the innovative potentials of African youth and women, since they constitute the largest segment of the African population. Investing in African youth and women (SDG 5) will definitely create wealth and ensure socio-political stability on the continent. In recognition of the powerful potentials of youth and women in society, the ATPS has created platforms to empower the youth and women to attain their aspirations and potentials. These platforms include the African Youth Forum for Science and Technology (AYFST) and the African Women Forum for Science and Technology (AWFST).
Under this strategic objective, we plan to broker the adoption, commercialization and sharing of locally developed scientific knowledge, technologies and innovations that could transform African society into an innovation-led, knowledge-based economy. Scientific knowledge will only be useful if it is translated into technologies and innovations useful for addressing societal needs. These are captured in SDGs 9, 10 and 11 as well as in STISA’s priority 3. We will act as independent knowledge brokers to foster effective policies and incentives for technology cooperation between and among institutions and countries for socio-economic development. We will recognize both modern and indigenous technologies and innovations and promote its acceptability, deployment and use.
Under this strategic objective, we plan to develop new forms of intra-Africa and global partnerships within and amongst stakeholders interested in achieving the continental STI Agenda (AU’s Agenda 2063) and the SDGs especially SDG 17. We will facilitate the culture of networking and mutual collaborations amongst STI stakeholders in Africa and internationally so as to foster the rapid deployment of technologies and technology transfer systems. We will support the harmonization of policies across regional blocs in Africa so as to foster integration and free trade within the blocs and the entire continent at large. To achieve this objective, we will work closely with like-minded institutions, develop MOUs and PAs that will build trusts and achieve enduring results.